Creating a textarea with auto-resize

Creating a textarea with auto-resize

There was another thread about this, which I’ve tried. But there is one problem: the textarea doesn’t shrink if you delete the content. I can’t find any way to shrink it to the correct size – the clientHeight value comes back as the full size of the textarea, not its contents.
The code from that page is below:
function FitToContent(id, maxHeight)
var text = id && ? id : document.getElementById(id);
if ( !text )

var adjustedHeight = text.clientHeight;
if ( !maxHeight || maxHeight > adjustedHeight )
adjustedHeight = Math.max(text.scrollHeight, adjustedHeight);
if ( maxHeight )
adjustedHeight = Math.min(maxHeight, adjustedHeight);
if ( adjustedHeight > text.clientHeight ) = adjustedHeight + “px”;

window.onload = function() {
document.getElementById(“ta”).onkeyup = function() {
FitToContent( this, 500 )


Solution 1:

This works for me (Firefox 3.6/4.0 and Chrome 10/11):

var observe;
if (window.attachEvent) {
    observe = function (element, event, handler) {
        element.attachEvent('on'+event, handler);
else {
    observe = function (element, event, handler) {
        element.addEventListener(event, handler, false);
function init () {
    var text = document.getElementById('text');
    function resize () { = 'auto'; = text.scrollHeight+'px';
    /* 0-timeout to get the already changed text */
    function delayedResize () {
        window.setTimeout(resize, 0);
    observe(text, 'change',  resize);
    observe(text, 'cut',     delayedResize);
    observe(text, 'paste',   delayedResize);
    observe(text, 'drop',    delayedResize);
    observe(text, 'keydown', delayedResize);

textarea {
    border: 0 none white;
    overflow: hidden;
    padding: 0;
    outline: none;
    background-color: #D0D0D0;
<body onload="init();">
<textarea rows="1" style="height:1em;" id="text"></textarea>

If you want try it on jsfiddle
It starts with a single line and grows only the exact amount necessary. It is ok for a single textarea, but I wanted to write something where I would have many many many such textareas (about as much as one would normally have lines in a large text document). In that case it is really slow. (In Firefox it’s insanely slow.) So I really would like an approach that uses pure CSS. This would be possible with contenteditable, but I want it to be plaintext-only.

Solution 2:


Updated 07/05/2019
(Improved browser support for mobiles and tablets)

The following code will work:

  • On key input.
  • With pasted text (right click & ctrl+v).
  • With cut text (right click & ctrl+x).
  • With pre-loaded text.
  • With all textarea’s (multiline textbox’s) site wide.
  • With Firefox (v31-67 tested).
  • With Chrome (v37-74 tested).
  • With IE (v9-v11 tested).
  • With Edge (v14-v18 tested).
  • With IOS Safari.
  • With Android Browser.
  • With JavaScript strict mode.
  • Is w3c validated.
  • And is streamlined and efficient.

OPTION 1 (With jQuery)

This option requires jQuery and has been tested and is working with

Simple (Add this jquery code to your master script file and forget about it.)

$('textarea').each(function () {
  this.setAttribute('style', 'height:' + (this.scrollHeight) + 'px;overflow-y:hidden;');
}).on('input', function () { = 'auto'; = (this.scrollHeight) + 'px';
<script src=""></script>
<textarea placeholder="Type, paste, cut text here...">PRELOADED TEXT.
This javascript should now add better support for IOS browsers and Android browsers.</textarea>
<textarea placeholder="Type, paste, cut text here..."></textarea>

Test on jsfiddle

OPTION 2 (Pure JavaScript)

Simple (Add this JavaScript to your master script file and forget about it.)

var tx = document.getElementsByTagName('textarea');
for (var i = 0; i < tx.length; i++) {
  tx[i].setAttribute('style', 'height:' + (tx[i].scrollHeight) + 'px;overflow-y:hidden;');
  tx[i].addEventListener("input", OnInput, false);

function OnInput() { = 'auto'; = (this.scrollHeight) + 'px';
<textarea placeholder="Type, paste, cut text here...">PRELOADED TEXT. This JavaScript should now add better support for IOS browsers and Android browsers.</textarea>
<textarea placeholder="Type, paste, cut text here..."></textarea>

Test on jsfiddle

OPTION 3 (jQuery Extension)

Useful if you want to apply further chaining to the textareas you want to be auto-sized.

  autoHeight: function () {
    function autoHeight_(element) {
      return jQuery(element)
        .css({ 'height': 'auto', 'overflow-y': 'hidden' })
    return this.each(function() {
      autoHeight_(this).on('input', function() {

Invoke with $('textarea').autoHeight()


When injecting content into a textarea via JavaScript append the following code to invoke the function in option 1.


Solution 3:

jQuery solution
adjust the css to match your requirements


div#container textarea {
    min-width: 270px;
    width: 270px;
    height: 22px;
    line-height: 24px;
    min-height: 22px;
    overflow-y: hidden; /* fixes scrollbar flash - kudos to @brettjonesdev */
    padding-top: 1.1em; /* fixes text jump on Enter keypress */


// auto adjust the height of
$('#container').delegate( 'textarea', 'keydown', function (){
    $(this).height( 0 );
    $(this).height( this.scrollHeight );
$('#container').find( 'textarea' ).keydown();

OR alternative for jQuery 1.7+…

// auto adjust the height of
$('#container').on( 'keyup', 'textarea', function (){
    $(this).height( 0 );
    $(this).height( this.scrollHeight );
$('#container').find( 'textarea' ).keyup();

I’ve created a fiddle with the absolute minimum styling as a starting point for your experiments…

Solution 4:

<!DOCTYPE html>
    <meta charset="UTF-8">
    <title>Textarea autoresize</title>
    textarea {
        overflow: hidden;
    function resizeTextarea(ev) { = '24px'; = this.scrollHeight + 12 + 'px';

    var te = document.querySelector('textarea');
    te.addEventListener('input', resizeTextarea);

Tested in Firefox 14 and Chromium 18. The numbers 24 and 12 are arbitrary, test to see what suits you best.

You could do without the style and script tags, but it becomes a bit messy imho (this is old style HTML+JS and is not encouraged).

<textarea style="overflow: hidden" onkeyup="'24px'; = this.scrollHeight + 12 + 'px';"></textarea>

Edit: modernized code. Changed onkeyup attribute to addEventListener.
Edit: keydown works better than keyup
Edit: declare function before using
Edit: input works better than keydown (thnx @WASD42 & @MA-Maddin)


Solution 5:

The best solution (works and is short) for me is:

    $(document).on('input', 'textarea', function () {
        $(this).outerHeight(38).outerHeight(this.scrollHeight); // 38 or '1em' -min-height

It works like a charm without any blinking with paste (with mouse also), cut, entering and it shrinks to the right size.

Please take a look at jsFiddle.

Solution 6:

You’re using the higher value of the current clientHeight and the content scrollHeight. When you make the scrollHeight smaller by removing content, the calculated area can’t get smaller because the clientHeight, previously set by style.height, is holding it open. You could instead take a max() of scrollHeight and a minimum height value you have predefined or calculated from textarea.rows.

In general you probably shouldn’t really rely on scrollHeight on form controls. Apart from scrollHeight being traditionally less widely-supported than some of the other IE extensions, HTML/CSS says nothing about how form controls are implemented internally and you aren’t guaranteed scrollHeight will be anything meaningful. (Traditionally some browsers have used OS widgets for the task, making CSS and DOM interaction on their internals impossible.) At least sniff for scrollHeight/clientHeight’s existance before trying to enable the effect.

Another possible alternative approach to avoid the issue if it’s important that it work more widely might be to use a hidden div sized to the same width as the textarea, and set in the same font. On keyup, you copy the text from the textarea to a text node in hidden div (remembering to replace ‘\n’ with a line break, and escape ‘<‘/’&’ properly if you’re using innerHTML). Then simply measuring the div’s offsetHeight will give you the height you need.