rows (HTML attribute)

Spec
Depr. Version
No HTML 2
Browser support (more…)
IE5.5+ FF1+ SA1.3+ OP9.2+ CH2+
Full Full Full Full Full

Syntax

rows="number"

Description

The rows attribute defines the number of lines of text that are visible in the textarea. However, how well this actually matches up to the number of characters displayed height-wise is debatable, as the font style for characters may vary between browsers—especially if the style is changed by CSS. If no rows attribute is specified (even though it’s a required attribute), the textarea will render with approximately three visible lines of text. If you provide a rows value of "10", the textarea appears just over three times taller than the default height, as Figure 1 shows.

Figure 1. Two textareas, the first without a rows attribute, the second with rows set to "10" Two textareas, the first wthout cols attribute, the second with cols set to 40

Note that rows is a required attribute, as is cols, so you shouldn’t replace it with CSS styling. Instead, the CSS should override the size defined in this attribute. Without this attribute, your page can’t possibly validate (and besides, it’s helpful for users who are browsing with CSS switched off).

Example

The rows attribute for this textarea is set to "10":

<form>
  <label for="perfectday">Describe your perfect day:</label>
  <textarea id="perfectday" accesskey="d" cols="40" rows="10">
  </textarea>
  <input type="submit" value="Tell us"/>
</form>

Value

This attribute accepts a number only—it won’t accept percentages or other values.

Compatibility

Internet Explorer Firefox Safari Opera Chrome
5.5 6.0 7.0 8.0 1.0 1.5 2.0 3.0 3.5 1.3 2.0 3.1 4.0 9.2 9.5 10.0 2.0
Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full

It causes no compatibility issues, and has excellent support across all tested browsers.

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