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I need some text to be entered, either through a textarea form or by uploading a file - but obviously, not both. What would be the best way to present this? This is what I have at the moment, but I'm aware this is pretty ugly. enter image description here

I've seen answers for questions about letting users add urls through a form, or upload from their computer (such as this), but I can't use those since this text box is simply too huge for those solutions to work. The text is likely to be greater than 1000 words.

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Perhaps divide into tabs? Glade layout:

enter image description here enter image description here

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There is only one Submit action in this case - so if possible, try to have only one submit button for both options.

The image selector here at this site handles the same problem quite nicely:

image upload dialog

An alternative solution would be to display the options side by side.

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

(You could display the file contents in the text area when a file is chosen. That way the user can preview the results before the final submit).

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If you allow people to get the text from a file and have that inserted into the text edit box, they have the option of modifying it before submitting it. This also has the advantage of the contents of the file being displayed before submitted which might reduce mistakes.

The tricky part here is what exactly does "Get text from file" mean? I'd say the contents of the selected file are inserted with semantics like a paste operation, that is the selected text (if any) is replaced by the file contents. Also, the contents of multiple files could be loaded into the text box (file contents inserted at insertion point, similar to paste) and be submitted.

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

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