A text entry field is an interface element for entering or editing text. It is a basic element with a variety of uses, including search entry, settings and preferences, or account configuration and setup. A text entry field can be prefilled with text, and can include additional buttons or icons.
Size text fields according to the likely size of the content they will contain. This gives a useful visual cue to the amount of input expected and prevents overflow.
In an, validate the contents of the entry field when it loses focus or when the window is closed, not after each keypress. Exception: if the field accepts only a fixed number of characters, such as a hexadecimal color code, validate and apply the change as soon as that number of characters have been entered.
If you implement an entry field that only accepts certain characters, such as digits, play the system warning beep when the user tries to type an invalid character.
Normally, pressing Tab in a single-line entry field should move focus to the next control, and in a multi-line entry field it should insert a tab character. Pressing Ctrl+Tab in a multi-line entry field should move focus to the next control.
If you need to provide a keyboard shortcut that inserts a tab character into a single line entry field, use Ctrl+Tab. You are unlikely to find many situations where this is useful, however.
A variety of additional information or controls can be inserted within a text entry field.
Icons or icon buttons can be placed inside a text field to provide status information or additional controls.
An icon at the beginning of the entry can be used to indicate its purpose — replacing the need for the entry to be labelled. Search entry fields are the classic example of this, where a search icon is placed on the left side of the entry field.
If the text to be entered is case sensitive, a warning icon can be shown inside the text field if caps lock is on. This is typically shown on the right side of the entry.
If it is common for the text field to be cleared, a clear icon button can be placed inside the field, at the right side.
If you place an icon in a text entry field (either as an indicator or a button), use its symbolic variant from the GNOME Symbolic Icon Theme.
When a user would benefit from additional information in order to use a text entry field, it can be prefilled with a hint text. As with any decision to display additional information, this should only be done when it is necessary.
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