How to lock the first word of a textarea?

Basically I need to create a textarea that is character limited, but will have a single word at the beginning, that they can't change.

It needs to be a part of the textarea, but I don't want users to be able to remove it or edit it.

I was thinking I could create a JQuery function using blur() to prevent the user from backspacing, but I also need to prevent them from selecting that word and deleting it.

UPDATE I wrote this JQuery which seems to work great! However I like the solution below as it requires no Javascript.

<script type="text/javascript">
    var $el = $("textarea#message_create_body");
    $'oldVal', $el.val());

    $el.bind('keydown keyup keypress', function () {
        var header = "Header: ";
        var $this = $(this);
        $'newVal', $this.val());
        var newValue = $"newVal");
        var oldValue = $"oldVal");

        // Check to make sure header not removed
        if (!(newValue.substr(0, header.length) === header)) {
        } else {
            $(this).data('oldVal', $(this).val());



If you just want the textarea to show a prefix, you can use a label, change the position, and indent the textarea content. User will not notice the difference.

You can see how it works here:


How about just putting this word as a label next to the textbox? It may be confusing for the users not to be able to edit part of the text in the textbox.


Wouldn't it be better if you just alert the user that whatever he inputs in the textarea will be submitted with a "prefix" and then

  • show the prefix as a label before the textarea
  • add the prefix to the inputted text before submitting


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