Text Area

Last update: Edit

1 Introduction

A text area is used to display and, optionally, allow the end-user to edit the value of an attribute of data type String. It differs from a text box In that the value can be displayed over several lines.

A text area must be placed in a data widget and displays an attribute of the object(s) retrieved by that widget. The name of the attribute to be displayed is shown inside the text area, between square brackets, and colored blue.

For example, the following text area allows the end-user to see, and set, the Notes about a contact.

2 Properties

An example of text area properties is represented in the image below:

Text area properties consist of the following sections:

2.1 Common Section

For more information on properties in this section, see the Common Section section in Properties Common for Widgets.

2.2 Data Source Section

Attribute (Path)

Many input widgets (like text boxes and drop-down widgets) can be connected to the following:

  • An attribute of the entity of the data view that contains the widget; in this case, the widget is connected to an attribute
  • An attribute of an entity associated with the data view entity by following one or more associations of the reference type through the domain model; in this case, the widget is connected to an attribute path

In the first case, we say the widget is connected to an attribute, and in the second case it is connected to an attribute path.

In Mendix 8.0, an input widget connected to an attribute path must be read-only. Studio Pro will check this for you.

In Mendix 8.1 and above, you can edit attributes presented in input widgets over a path.

2.3 Design Properties Section

The Design Properties allow you to change spacing and alignment of the widget and hide it on phone, tablet, or desktop, if needed.

2.4 Editability Section

Editability determines whether an end-user can change the value in an input widget.

For more information on properties of this section, see the Editability Section section of Properties Common for Widgets.

2.5 Events Section

2.5.1 On Change

The on-change property specifies an action that will be executed when leaving the widget, either by using the Tab key or by clicking another widget, after the value has been changed.

For more information on properties of this section, see the Event Actions section of On Click Event & Events Section.

2.5.2 On Enter

The on-enter property specifies an action that will be executed when the widget is entered, either by using the Tab key or by clicking it with the mouse.

For more information on properties of this section, see the Event Actions section of On Click Event & Events Section.

2.5.3 On Leave

The on-leave property specifies an action that will be executed when leaving the widget, either by using the Tab key or by clicking another widget.

This differs from the On change property in that the event will always be triggered, even if the value has not been changed.

For more information on properties of this section, see the Event Actions section of On Click Event & Events Section.

2.6 General Section

2.6.1 Grow Automatically

This property defines whether the text area grows automatically depending on the amount of text in it.

Default value: No

2.6.2 Number of Lines

Number of lines determines the size of the text area, based on the height of the lines. If the text in the text area contains more lines, a scrollbar will enable the end-user to see it all. This property is only used if Grow automatically is set to No.

Default value: 5

2.6.3 Counter Message

This is the text displayed when typing in the text area. This text has two parameters. The first parameter contains the number of characters already typed and the second parameter contains the maximum number of characters.

For example, if you use the counter message You've used {1} characters of the {2} characters that are allowed. for your text area, the end-user will see this message displayed below the text area widget:

2.6.4 Text Too Long Message

This is the text displayed when the number of typed characters is higher than the maximum allowed number of characters.

2.6.5 Maximum Length

This property specifies the maximum number of characters that can be typed in this text area.

Value Description
Attribute length (default) The maximum number of characters is the same as the maximum length of the connected attribute
Unlimited The maximum number of characters is unlimited
Custom The maximum number of characters is specified in the widget properties

2.6.6 Placeholder Text

The placeholder text is shown when no text has been entered yet, or when a displayed attribute is empty.

It can be used, for example, to give a hint to the end-user what kind of text should be entered.

2.8 Label Section

A label describes the purpose of a widget to the end-user.

For more information on properties of this section, see the Label Section section in Properties Common for Widgets.

2.8 Validation Section

Validation Type

This property indicates whether this widget value should be validated and, if so, how. These are the possible options:

  • No validation
  • A predefined validation
  • A custom validation

The possible values of a predefined validation are the following:

  • Required – all data types
  • E-mail – string
  • Positive number – decimal, float, integer, long
  • Date in the future – dateTime
  • Date in the past – dateTime

Custom validations are expressions that follow the Microflow expression syntax. Both $currentObject and $value are in a scope that refers to the current object and the current member value, respectively. In Mendix 8.1 and above, the expression can access objects of all the data containers enclosing that data container widget. These objects are available under the name of the widget they originate from (for example, $dataView1).

When a validation is set and it fails for this widget, a message will be shown when the user selects Save.

Default value: (none)

Validation Message

This property determines the message that is shown to the user if widget validation is enabled and has failed. This is a translatable text (for more information, see Translatable Texts).

For example, if an address field is required, the validation message for the text box of the address could be something like, "The address is required."

2.9 Visibility Section

Visibility determines whether a widget is displayed to the end-user as part of the page.

For more information on properties of this section, see the Visibility Section section in Properties Common for Widgets.

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