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jQuery plugin dynamic character count for textareas and input fields

Project description


jQuery plugin Simplest Twitterlike dynamic character count for textareas and input fields.

About charCount

The first thing that this plugin do is create a sibling element (it adds is immediately AFTER the form element), the “counter”, where the remaining character info is stored. On each key up event or text field value change the counting function is triggered and the contents of this “counter” element is changed accordingly. If the remaining character count reaches the “warning” zone (gets close to zero) the CSS class is added. We use this class to change the color of the character count info. If the count reaches zero and goes beyond it another class is added so we can use another style for exceeding the limit.

Just so you can find your way around it, this is the code that the plugin generates by default:

<span class="counter">140</span>

Plugin Options (and default values)

limit: 140

The character limit you wish to set for your text area or input field. It must be a number.

warning: 25

When remaining characters reach the number set with this option the “warning” css class name will be applied to the counter element.

counterElement: ‘span’

The type of element you wish to choose as your “counter” element. By default it is a SPAN element, but you can use paragraphs, divs, strongs, ems…

css: ‘counter’

Class name added to the counter element. Use this class name as a css selector to describe element’s appearance.

cssWarning: ‘warning’

Class name added to the counter element once the character count reaches the “warning” number.

cssExceeded: ‘exceeded’

Class name added to the counter element once the character count reaches zero.

counterText: ‘’

If you wish to add some text before the remaining character number, you can do so by using this option. It is empty by default.

Here’s what default usage code looks like:


…and this is the plugin usage with some customized options:

    allowed: 50,
    warning: 20,
    counterText: 'Characters left: '

Also take a look at the CSS I used for my demos:

form .counter{
form .warning{color:#600;}
form .exceeded{color:#e00;}

How to install

This addon can be installed as any other Plone addon. Please follow official documentation.

After installing the package on your portal you can access the demo in:

Have an idea? Found a bug? Let us know by opening a support ticket.


  • When you’re reading this you have probably already run easy_install collective.js.charcount. Find out how to install setuptools (and EasyInstall) here:

  • Get pythonproducts and install it via:

    python install --home /path/to/instance

    into your Zope instance.

  • Create a file called collective.js.charcount-configure.zcml in the /path/to/instance/etc/package-includes directory. The file should only contain this:

    <include package="collective.js.charcount" />

Alternatively, if you are using zc.buildout and the plone.recipe.zope2instance recipe to manage your project, you can do this:

  • Add collective.js.charcount to the list of eggs to install, e.g.

    eggs = collective.js.charcount
  • Tell the plone.recipe.zope2instance recipe to install a ZCML slug:

    recipe = plone.recipe.zope2instance
    zcml = collective.js.charcount
  • Re-run buildout, e.g. with:

    $ ./bin/buildout

You can skip the ZCML slug if you are going to explicitly include the package from another package’s configure.zcml file.

After updating the configuration you need to run ‘’bin/buildout’‘, which will take care of updating your system.

Go to the ‘Site Setup’ page in a Plone site and click on the ‘Add-ons’ link.

Check the box next to collective.js.charcount and click the ‘Activate’ button.

Note: You may have to empty your browser cache and save your resource registries in order to see the effects of the package installation.


  • Cleber J. Santos


1.0 (unreleased)

  • Initial release

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