#tui #textarea #editor #input #ratatui


tui-textarea is a simple yet powerful text editor widget for ratatui and tui-rs. Multi-line text editor can be easily put as part of your TUI application.

15 unstable releases (3 breaking)

0.4.0 Nov 19, 2023
0.3.1 Nov 4, 2023
0.3.0 Oct 24, 2023
0.2.4 Oct 21, 2023
0.1.2 Jun 25, 2022

#3 in Text editors

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5,210 downloads per month
Used in 29 crates (28 directly)

MIT license

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tui-textarea is a simple yet powerful text editor widget like <textarea> in HTML for ratatui and tui-rs. Multi-line text editor can be easily put as part of your TUI application.


  • Multi-line text editor widget with basic operations (insert/delete characters, auto scrolling, ...)
  • Emacs-like shortcuts (C-n/C-p/C-f/C-b, M-f/M-b, C-a/C-e, C-h/C-d, C-k, M-</M->, ...)
  • Undo/Redo
  • Line number
  • Cursor line highlight
  • Search with regular expressions
  • Text selection
  • Mouse scrolling
  • Yank support. Paste text deleted with C-k, C-j, ...
  • Backend agnostic. crossterm, termion, termwiz, and your own backend are all supported
  • Multiple textarea widgets in the same screen
  • Support both ratatui (the fork by community) and tui-rs (the original)



Running cargo run --example in this repository can demonstrate usage of tui-textarea.


cargo run --example minimal

Minimal usage with crossterm support.

minimal example


cargo run --example editor --features search file.txt

Simple text editor to edit multiple files.

editor example


cargo run --example single_line

Single-line input form with float number validation.

single line example


cargo run --example split

Two split textareas in a screen and switch them. An example for multiple textarea instances.

multiple textareas example


cargo run --example variable

Simple textarea with variable height following the number of lines.


cargo run --example vim

Vim-like modal text editor. Vim emulation is implemented as a state machine.

Vim emulation example


cargo run --example popup_placeholder

Popup textarea with a placeholder text.

popup textarea with placeholder example


cargo run --example password

Password input form with masking text with ●.

password example


cargo run --example termion --no-default-features --features=termion

Minimal usage with termion support.


cargo run --example termwiz --no-default-features --features=termwiz

Minimal usage with termwiz support.

Examples for tui-rs support

All above examples use ratatui, but some examples provide tui-rs version. Try tuirs_ prefix. In these cases, you need to specify features to use tui-rs and --no-default-features flag explicitly.

# tui-rs version of `minimal` example
cargo run --example tuirs_minimal --no-default-features --features=tuirs-crossterm

# tui-rs version of `editor` example
cargo run --example tuirs_editor --no-default-features --features=tuirs-crossterm,search file.txt

# tui-rs version of `termion` example
cargo run --example tuirs_termion --no-default-features --features=tuirs-termion


Add tui-textarea crate to dependencies in your Cargo.toml. This enables crossterm backend support by default.

ratatui = "*"
tui-textarea = "*"

If you need text search with regular expressions, enable search feature. It adds regex crate crate as dependency.

ratatui = "*"
tui-textarea = { version = "*", features = ["search"] }

If you're using ratatui with termion or termwiz, enable respective feature instead of crossterm feature.


# For termion
ratatui = { version = "*", default-features = false, features = ["termion"] }
tui-textarea = { version = "*", default-features = false, features = ["termion"] }

# For termwiz
ratatui = { version = "*", default-features = false, features = ["termwiz"] }
tui-textarea = { version = "*", default-features = false, features = ["termwiz"] }

If you're using tui-rs instead of ratatui, you need to enable features for using tui-rs crate and to disable default features. The following table shows feature names corresponding to the dependencies.

crossterm termion termwiz Your own backend
ratatui crossterm (enabled by default) termion termwiz no-backend
tui-rs tuirs-crossterm tuirs-termion N/A tuirs-no-backend

For example, when you want to use the combination of tui-rs and crossterm,

tui = "*"
tui-textarea = { version = "*", features = ["tuirs-crossterm"], default-features = false }

Note that ratatui support and tui-rs support are exclusive. When you use tui-rs support, you must disable ratatui support by default-features = false.

In addition to above dependencies, you also need to install crossterm or termion or termwiz to initialize your application and to receive key inputs. Note that version of crossterm crate is different between ratatui and tui-rs. Please select the correct version.

Minimal Usage

use tui_textarea::TextArea;
use crossterm::event::{Event, read};

let mut term = ratatui::Terminal::new(...);

// Create an empty `TextArea` instance which manages the editor state
let mut textarea = TextArea::default();

// Event loop
loop {
    term.draw(|f| {
        // Get `ratatui::layout::Rect` where the editor should be rendered
        let rect = ...;
        // `TextArea::widget` builds a widget to render the editor with tui
        let widget = textarea.widget();
        // Render the widget in terminal screen
        f.render_widget(widget, rect);

    if let Event::Key(key) = read()? {
        // Your own key mapping to break the event loop
        if key.code == KeyCode::Esc {
        // `TextArea::input` can directly handle key events from backends and update the editor state

// Get text lines as `&[String]`
println!("Lines: {:?}", textarea.lines());

TextArea is an instance to manage the editor state. By default, it disables line numbers and highlights cursor line with underline.

TextArea::widget() builds a widget to render the current state of the editor. Create the widget and render it on each tick of event loop.

TextArea::input() receives inputs from tui backends. The method can take key events from backends such as crossterm::event::KeyEvent or termion::event::Key directly if the features are enabled. The method handles default key mappings as well.

Default key mappings are as follows:

Mappings Description
Ctrl+H, Backspace Delete one character before cursor
Ctrl+D, Delete Delete one character next to cursor
Ctrl+M, Enter Insert newline
Ctrl+K Delete from cursor until the end of line
Ctrl+J Delete from cursor until the head of line
Ctrl+W, Alt+H, Alt+Backspace Delete one word before cursor
Alt+D, Alt+Delete Delete one word next to cursor
Ctrl+U Undo
Ctrl+R Redo
Ctrl+C, Copy Copy selected text
Ctrl+X, Cut Cut selected text
Ctrl+Y, Paste Paste yanked text
Ctrl+F, Move cursor forward by one character
Ctrl+B, Move cursor backward by one character
Ctrl+P, Move cursor up by one line
Ctrl+N, Move cursor down by one line
Alt+F, Ctrl+ Move cursor forward by word
Atl+B, Ctrl+ Move cursor backward by word
Alt+], Alt+P, Ctrl+ Move cursor up by paragraph
Alt+[, Alt+N, Ctrl+ Move cursor down by paragraph
Ctrl+E, End, Ctrl+Alt+F, Ctrl+Alt+ Move cursor to the end of line
Ctrl+A, Home, Ctrl+Alt+B, Ctrl+Alt+ Move cursor to the head of line
Alt+<, Ctrl+Alt+P, Ctrl+Alt+ Move cursor to top of lines
Alt+>, Ctrl+Alt+N, Ctrl+Alt+ Move cursor to bottom of lines
Ctrl+V, PageDown Scroll down by page
Alt+V, PageUp Scroll up by page

Deleting multiple characters at once saves the deleted text to yank buffer. It can be pasted with Ctrl+Y later.

If you don't want to use default key mappings, see the 'Advanced Usage' section.

Basic Usage

Create TextArea instance with text

TextArea implements Default trait to create an editor instance with an empty text.

let mut textarea = TextArea::default();

TextArea::new() creates an editor instance with text lines passed as Vec<String>.

let mut lines: Vec<String> = ...;
let mut textarea = TextArea::new(lines);

TextArea implements From<impl Iterator<Item=impl Into<String>>>. TextArea::from() can create an editor instance from any iterators whose elements can be converted to String.

// Create `TextArea` from from `[&str]`
let mut textarea = TextArea::from([
    "this is first line",
    "this is second line",
    "this is third line",

// Create `TextArea` from `String`
let mut text: String = ...;
let mut textarea = TextArea::from(text.lines());

TextArea also implements FromIterator<impl Into<String>>. Iterator::collect() can collect strings as an editor instance. This allows to create TextArea reading lines from file efficiently using io::BufReader.

let file = fs::File::open(path)?;
let mut textarea: TextArea = io::BufReader::new(file).lines().collect::<io::Result<_>>()?;

Get text contents from TextArea

TextArea::lines() returns text lines as &[String]. It borrows text contents temporarily.

let text: String = textarea.lines().join("\n");

TextArea::into_lines() moves TextArea instance into text lines as Vec<String>. This can retrieve the text contents without any copy.

let lines: Vec<String> = textarea.into_lines();

Note that TextArea always contains at least one line. For example, an empty text means one empty line. This is because any text file must end with newline.

let textarea = TextArea::default();
assert_eq!(textarea.into_lines(), [""]);

Show line number

By default, TextArea does now show line numbers. To enable, set a style for rendering line numbers by TextArea::set_line_number_style(). For example, the following renders line numbers in dark gray background color.

use ratatui::style::{Style, Color};

let style = Style::default().bg(Color::DarkGray);

Configure cursor line style

By default, TextArea renders the line at cursor with underline so that users can easily notice where the current line is. To change the style of cursor line, use TextArea::set_cursor_line_style(). For example, the following styles the cursor line with bold text.

use ratatui::style::{Style, Modifier};

let style = Style::default().add_modifier(Modifier::BOLD);

To disable cursor line style, set the default style as follows:

use ratatui::style::{Style, Modifier};


Configure tab width

The default tab width is 4. To change it, use TextArea::set_tab_length() method. The following sets 2 to tab width. Typing tab key inserts 2 spaces.


Configure max history size

By default, past 50 modifications are stored as edit history. The history is used for undo/redo. To change how many past edits are remembered, use TextArea::set_max_histories() method. The following remembers past 1000 changes.


Setting 0 disables undo/redo.


Text search with regular expressions

To search text in textarea, set a regular expression pattern with TextArea::set_search_pattern() and move cursor with TextArea::search_forward() for forward search or TextArea::search_back() backward search. The regular expression is handled by regex crate.

Text search wraps around the textarea. When searching forward and no match found until the end of textarea, it searches the pattern from start of the file.

Matches are highlighted in textarea. The text style to highlight matches can be changed with TextArea::set_search_style(). Setting an empty string to TextArea::set_search_pattern() stops the text search.

// Start text search matching to "hello" or "hi". This highlights matches in textarea but does not move cursor.
// `regex::Error` is returned on invalid pattern.

textarea.search_forward(false); // Move cursor to the next match
textarea.search_back(false);    // Move cursor to the previous match

// Setting empty string stops the search

No UI is provided for text search. You need to provide your own UI to input search query. It is recommended to use another TextArea for search form. To build a single-line input form, see 'Single-line input like <input> in HTML' in 'Advanced Usage' section below.

editor example implements a text search with search form built on TextArea. See the implementation for working example.

To use text search, search feature needs to be enabled in your Cargo.toml. It is disabled by default to avoid depending on regex crate until it is necessary.

tui-textarea = { version = "*", features = ["search"] }

Advanced Usage

Single-line input like <input> in HTML

To use TextArea for single-line input widget like <input> in HTML, ignore all key mappings which inserts newline.

use crossterm::event::{Event, read};
use tui_textarea::{Input, Key};

let default_text: &str = ...;
let default_text = default_text.replace(&['\n', '\r'], " "); // Ensure no new line is contained
let mut textarea = TextArea::new(vec![default_text]);

// Event loop
loop {
    // ...

    // Using `Input` is not mandatory, but it's useful for pattern match
    // Ignore Ctrl+m and Enter. Otherwise handle keys as usual
    match read()?.into() {
        Input { key: Key::Char('m'), ctrl: true, alt: false }
        | Input { key: Key::Enter, .. } => continue,
        input => {

let text = textarea.into_lines().remove(0); // Get input text

See single_line example for working example.

Define your own key mappings

All editor operations are defined as public methods of TextArea. To move cursor, use tui_textarea::CursorMove to notify how to move the cursor.

Method Operation
textarea.delete_char() Delete one character before cursor
textarea.delete_next_char() Delete one character next to cursor
textarea.insert_newline() Insert newline
textarea.delete_line_by_end() Delete from cursor until the end of line
textarea.delete_line_by_head() Delete from cursor until the head of line
textarea.delete_word() Delete one word before cursor
textarea.delete_next_word() Delete one word next to cursor
textarea.undo() Undo
textarea.redo() Redo
textarea.copy() Copy selected text
textarea.cut() Cut selected text
textarea.paste() Paste yanked text
textarea.start_selection() Start text selection
textarea.cancel_selection() Cancel text selection
textarea.select_all() Select entire text
textarea.move_cursor(CursorMove::Forward) Move cursor forward by one character
textarea.move_cursor(CursorMove::Back) Move cursor backward by one character
textarea.move_cursor(CursorMove::Up) Move cursor up by one line
textarea.move_cursor(CursorMove::Down) Move cursor down by one line
textarea.move_cursor(CursorMove::WordForward) Move cursor forward by word
textarea.move_cursor(CursorMove::WordBack) Move cursor backward by word
textarea.move_cursor(CursorMove::ParagraphForward) Move cursor up by paragraph
textarea.move_cursor(CursorMove::ParagraphBack) Move cursor down by paragraph
textarea.move_cursor(CursorMove::End) Move cursor to the end of line
textarea.move_cursor(CursorMove::Head) Move cursor to the head of line
textarea.move_cursor(CursorMove::Top) Move cursor to top of lines
textarea.move_cursor(CursorMove::Bottom) Move cursor to bottom of lines
textarea.move_cursor(CursorMove::Jump(row, col)) Move cursor to (row, col) position
textarea.move_cursor(CursorMove::InViewport) Move cursor to stay in the viewport
textarea.set_search_pattern(pattern) Set a pattern for text search
textarea.search_forward(match_cursor) Move cursor to next match of text search
textarea.search_back(match_cursor) Move cursor to previous match of text search
textarea.scroll(Scrolling::PageDown) Scroll down the viewport by page
textarea.scroll(Scrolling::PageUp) Scroll up the viewport by page
textarea.scroll(Scrolling::HalfPageDown) Scroll down the viewport by half-page
textarea.scroll(Scrolling::HalfPageUp) Scroll up the viewport by half-page
textarea.scroll((row, col)) Scroll down the viewport to (row, col) position

To define your own key mappings, simply call the above methods in your code instead of TextArea::input() method.

See the vim example for working example. It implements more Vim-like key modal mappings.

If you don't want to use default key mappings, TextArea::input_without_shortcuts() method can be used instead of TextArea::input(). The method only handles very basic operations such as inserting/deleting single characters, tabs, newlines.

match read()?.into() {
    // Handle your own key mappings here
    // ...
    input => textarea.input_without_shortcuts(input),

Use your own backend

ratatui and tui-rs allows to make your own backend by implementing ratatui::backend::Backend trait. tui-textarea supports it as well. Please use no-backend feature for ratatui or tuirs-no-backend feature for tui-rs. They avoid adding backend crates (crossterm, termion, or termwiz) since you're using your own backend.

# For ratatui
tui-textarea = { version = "*", default-features = false, features = ["no-backend"] }
# For tui-rs
tui-textarea = { version = "*", default-features = false, features = ["tuirs-no-backend"] }

tui_textarea::Input is a type for backend-agnostic key input. What you need to do is converting key event in your own backend into the tui_textarea::Input instance. Then TextArea::input() method can handle the input as other backend.

In the following example, let's say your_backend::KeyDown is a key event type for your backend and your_backend::read_next_key() returns the next key event.

// In your backend implementation

pub enum KeyDown {
    // ...

// Return tuple of (key, ctrlkey, altkey)
pub fn read_next_key() -> (KeyDown, bool, bool) {
    // ...

Then you can implement the logic to convert your_backend::KeyDown value into tui_textarea::Input value.

use tui_textarea::{Input, Key};
use your_backend::KeyDown;

fn keydown_to_input(key: KeyDown, ctrl: bool, alt: bool) -> Input {
    match key {
        KeyDown::Char(c) => Input { key: Key::Char(c), ctrl, alt },
        KeyDown::BS => Input { key: Key::Backspace, ctrl, alt },
        KeyDown::Del => Input { key: Key::Delete, ctrl, alt },
        KeyDown::Esc => Input { key: Key::Esc, ctrl, alt },
        // ...
        _ => Input::default(),

For the keys which are not handled by tui-textarea, tui_textarea::Input::default() is available. It returns 'null' key. An editor will do nothing with the key.

Finally, convert your own backend's key input type into tui_textarea::Input and pass it to TextArea::input().

let mut textarea = ...;

// Event loop
loop {
    // ...

    let (key, ctrl, alt) = your_backend::read_next_key();
    if key == your_backend::KeyDown::Esc {
        break; // For example, quit your app on pressing Esc
    textarea.input(keydown_to_input(key, ctrl, alt));

Put multiple TextArea instances in screen

You don't need to do anything special. Create multiple TextArea instances and render widgets built from each instances.

The following is an example to put two textarea widgets in application and manage the focus.

use tui_textarea::{TextArea, Input, Key};
use crossterm::event::{Event, read};

let editors = &mut [

let mut focused = 0;

loop {
    term.draw(|f| {
        let rects = ...;

        for (editor, rect) in editors.iter_mut().zip(rects.into_iter()) {
            let widget = editor.widget();
            f.render_widget(widget, rect);

    match read()?.into() {
        // Switch focused textarea by Ctrl+S
        Input { key: Key::Char('s'), ctrl: true, .. } => focused = (focused + 1) % 2;
        // Handle input by the focused editor
        input => editors[focused].input(input),

See split example and editor example for working example.

Minimum Supported Rust Version

MSRV of this crate is depending on tui crate. Currently MSRV is 1.56.1. Note that ratatui crate requires more recent Rust version.


This crate is not reaching v1.0.0 yet. There is no plan to bump the major version for now. Current versioning policy is as follows:

  • Major: Fixed to 0
  • Minor: Bump on breaking change
  • Patch: Bump on new feature or bug fix

Contributing to tui-textarea

This project is developed on GitHub.

For feature requests or bug reports, please create an issue. For submitting patches, please create a pull request.

Please read CONTRIBUTING.md before reporting an issue or making a PR.


tui-textarea is distributed under The MIT License.


~201K SLoC