What is the best way to handle max character limit on a text input? Say the text box has a limit of 100 characters, should the user be allowed to input more than 100 characters or should the limit be imposed (i.e. the text gets tructated if they copy paste a larger text into the text box)? If a limit is imposed, how would you signal what the issue is to the user? I tried showing a tooltip that would stay active as long as the text box had the more than the max allowed number of characters. What do you think? Most designs I've seen seem to not limit the input, but show some sort of counter. Either current character count/max limit (i.e. 48/100, in red when it goes over the limit 120/100) or starting at the limit (100 in this case) and decreasing as text is inputed (in red when negative -20). Which option do you guys prefer? Any other ideas?

p.s. I'm a dev working on a desktop app.

  • 1
    try writing a comment in this same page and see it by yourself :)
    – Devin
    Feb 15 at 2:41
  • 1
    nice. first time here so i hadn't tried it. thanks :)
    – kanpeki
    Feb 15 at 6:07
  • @Devin You should add it as an answer (with maybe a small description of how it works). Feb 15 at 10:00

1 Answer 1


OK, as suggested by ParrotMaster, I'll add it as an answer so it's clearer.

First, the text box requires at least 15 characters.

enter image description here

The text area counts down the required minimum characters, as seen in the picture below.

enter image description here

After the minimum requirement of characters, the helper message changes to "total characters left" from a total of 600 characters.

enter image description here

When the text field has 250 characters left, the helper message changes to a brownish orange color, which with 150 characters left changes to orange.

enter image description here

Finally, when there are no characters left, the helper message changes to "Too long by [number] of characters" and the text color changes to red.

enter image description here

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