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A text entry box
A text entry box
A text box in a text processing program.
A text box in a text processing program.

A text box[a] is a control element of a graphical user interface, that should enable the user to input text information to be used by a program.[1][2] Human Interface Guidelines recommend a single-line text box when only one line of input is required, and a multi-line text box only if more than one line of input may be required. Non-editable text boxes can serve the purpose of simply displaying text.

A typical text box is a rectangle of any size, possibly with a border that separates the text box from the rest of the interface. Text boxes may contain zero, one, or two scrollbars. Text boxes usually display a text cursor (commonly a blinking vertical line), indicating the current region of text being edited. It is common for the mouse cursor to change its shape when it hovers over a text box.

Standard functionality

Typical implementations allow a user to do the following:

Type in text using a keyboard
Navigate and select portions of text
Edit the text (enable changing the text already entered)
Undo / Redo changes with Ctrl+Z / Ctrl+Y (Windows) or command-Z / command-shift-Z (Mac OS)

The keys indicated relate to the text box widgets in Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X; similar if not identical keyboard bindings exist under the X Window System and other systems, and typically follow the same scheme as Windows.

References and notes

  1. ^ Also called an input box, text field or text entry box.
  1. ^ 08/2020
  2. ^ "text box". techTerms.