Is there an accepted name for a UI element that allows the user to enter multiple values, displaying each value as visually distinct, and provides autocomplete matching like a combo box?

Examples are:

  • Apple's Mail.app address entry: Screenshot of Mail.app entering address and seeing one address displayed as a capsule and another address being typed, with an auto-complete dropdown displayed for possible matches.

  • StackExchange's own tags editor: Screenshot of the tags editor.

  • jQuery UI's autocomplete-multiple (though it's buggy, and does not nicely display completed items)

  • Barring a definitive answer for a generally-accepted name, I'd also welcome comments on other examples of this input or discussions on it; they may help lead to a consensus.
    – Phrogz
    Commented May 8, 2013 at 22:53
  • 1
    I always called it "multiselect with autocomplete", not sure where it came from. Commented May 9, 2013 at 5:43

1 Answer 1


I think that this is new ground without a consensus yet. For example, Wikipedia doesn't mention this on its GUI Widgets list.

You've got the ASP.NET "Autocomplete Textbox". I think that name works, but is not completely clear as to whether the textbox accepts multiple values or not.

If you allow new values to be entered, "autosuggest textbox" may be good too.

Other examples include entering e-mail addresses in most modern applications (Outlook, Gmail, etc.). I worked on a project where our key feature was such a pair of autocomplete textboxes, but I can't remember if that's what we called them.

Perhaps if you want to be clear that you are autocompleting multiple values you should call it a multiselect autocomplete textbox. That is wordy, but at least one other person has called it that on the Internet already.

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