text_field_tag(name, value = nil, options = {}) public

Creates a standard text field; use these text fields to input smaller chunks of text like a username or a search query.


  • :disabled - If set to true, the user will not be able to use this input.

  • :size - The number of visible characters that will fit in the input.

  • :maxlength - The maximum number of characters that the browser will allow the user to enter.

  • :placeholder - The text contained in the field by default which is removed when the field receives focus. If set to true, use a translation is found in the current I18n locale (through helpers.placeholders.<modelname>.<attribute>).

  • Any other key creates standard HTML attributes for the tag.


text_field_tag 'name'
# => <input id="name" name="name" type="text" />

text_field_tag 'query', 'Enter your search query here'
# => <input id="query" name="query" type="text" value="Enter your search query here" />

text_field_tag 'search', nil, placeholder: 'Enter search term...'
# => <input id="search" name="search" placeholder="Enter search term..." type="text" />

text_field_tag 'request', nil, class: 'special_input'
# => <input class="special_input" id="request" name="request" type="text" />

text_field_tag 'address', '', size: 75
# => <input id="address" name="address" size="75" type="text" value="" />

text_field_tag 'zip', nil, maxlength: 5
# => <input id="zip" maxlength="5" name="zip" type="text" />

text_field_tag 'payment_amount', '$0.00', disabled: true
# => <input disabled="disabled" id="payment_amount" name="payment_amount" type="text" value="$0.00" />

text_field_tag 'ip', '', maxlength: 15, size: 20, class: "ip-input"
# => <input class="ip-input" id="ip" maxlength="15" name="ip" size="20" type="text" value="" />
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August 26, 2008
6 thanks

Prototype hinted_text_field application_helper

Place this in your helper. It will show a message inside the text box and remove it when someone clicks on it. If they don’t enter a value when they leave the field it’ll replace the message. (Requires javascript :defaults).

def hinted_text_field_tag(name, value = nil, hint = "Click and enter text", options={})
  value = value.nil? ? hint : value
  text_field_tag name, value, {:onclick => "if($(this).value == '#{hint}'){$(this).value = ''}", :onblur => "if($(this).value == ''){$(this).value = '#{hint}'}" }.update(options.stringify_keys)

# inside form_for example

hinted_text_field_tag :search, params[:search], "Enter name, brand or mfg.", :size => 30  
# => <input id="search" name="search" onblur="if($(this).value == ''){$(this).value = 'Enter name, brand or mfg.'}" onclick="if($(this).value == 'Enter name, brand or mfg.'){$(this).value = ''}" size="30" type="text" value="Enter name, brand or mfg." />