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I'm working on a form where users can specify website properties for a webpage. One of the text fields is the 'page description' field. The user input can be anything between one character and thousands of words.

What's the proper (default) text field height when you can expect such a varying user input?

Are there any general guidelines for text field height?

See below. I want to prevent a disturbing text field that's either too short or way too large and thus taking too much space.

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In my opinion, if you're going to have field which can contain any size of input, you need to accommodate the user and make it dynamic. Make a compact field that's reasonable for (what you expect to be) an average answer, that suggests more than 1 line of input, but is not dauntingly large at default. Add a visual cue that the field is dynamic by, for example, adding the icon for resizing fields. People could be typing long strings of text, and this way they can either resize the whole field or use the default in-field scroll to see what they're doing. Even if they don't use the resizing feature, it does show that any amount of input is okay and there are no hidden character limits.

Edit: As for a default height, I'd suggest around 100px.

Example of dynamic field

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