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What is the term for a text box on a webpage/form/etc. like a comment box where a user can type anything they want? The term I'm thinking of doesn't sound right.

I want to call this a free form text box but that doesn't sound correct.

Thanks for any terms you suggest.

3 Answers 3

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"Free-form" is exactly what I would call it. Then I would be using it in a technical conversation.

There's no non-technical equivalent. If you want to not use "free-form" you probably have to spell out what you mean in a longer phrase.

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Why not just use the simple term "text box"? That seems to be the most appropriate term and is quite likely to be understood by everyone.

I don't think "free-form" is a commonly used term. On its own, it sounds strange to me:

Please enter your comment in the free-form below.

You can also use "text field", which sounds more natural than "free-form", at least to me. But what is natural really? Who is your audience?

"Free-form text box" or "free-form text field" would be fine, but they just add more words that are not necessary to say what you are referring to.

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In technical terms, we use “text area”. It’s commonly used to enter comments and suggestions.

Definition of Text Area:

A text area is a large box that allows you to enter multiple lines of text.


According to w3schools.com:

A text area is often used in a form, to collect user inputs like comments or reviews.

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