val() vs. text() for textarea


I am using jQuery, and wondering if I should use val() or text() (or another method) to read and update the content of a textarea.

I have tried both and I've had issues with both. When I use text() to update textarea, line breaks (\n) don't work. When I use val() to retrieve the textarea content, the text gets truncated if it's too long.

This question is tagged with jquery forms textarea

~ Asked on 2012-01-13 16:58:21

The Best Answer is


The best way to set/get the value of a textarea is the .val(), .value method.

.text() internally uses the .textContent (or .innerText for IE) method to get the contents of a <textarea>. The following test cases illustrate how text() and .val() relate to each other:

var t = '<textarea>';
console.log($(t).text('test').val());             // Prints test
console.log($(t).val('too').text('test').val());  // Prints too
console.log($(t).val('too').text());              // Prints nothing
console.log($(t).text('test').val('too').val());  // Prints too

console.log($(t).text('test').val('too').text()); // Prints test

The value property, used by .val() always shows the current visible value, whereas text()'s return value can be wrong.

~ Answered on 2012-01-13 17:00:54


.val() always works with textarea elements.

.text() works sometimes and fails other times! It's not reliable (tested in Chrome 33)

What's best is that .val() works seamlessly with other form elements too (like input) whereas .text() fails.

~ Answered on 2014-04-10 16:50:53

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