Inject keyboard event to textarea

On HTML page I want to keep TEXTAREA controls read-only until the user starts typing characters. All other keyboard events should not change the read-only status. In my script, on the first typed character event the handler makes the control not read-only, but that character does not go to the control itself.
I tried to do the following:
$(".textarea").keyup( function(ev) {
    var k = ev.keyCode;
    var inp =;
    if(  inp.readOnly && k >= 42 && k <= 90 ) {  // an alphanumeric
    	inp.readOnly = false;;  // without this IE do not accept typed in characters at all
        // i tried this:
    	var sev = $.Event("keypress", {keyCode: k, which: k});
        // and that:
    	var sev = $.Event("keypress", ev);
} );

Open in new window

Whatever I tried, the first typed character is lost, the second goes to the control.
LVL 20
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Can I ask why?  What the underlying purpose is?
Just a bit confused as to why you have them as readonly, hence "unable to type into it", until they start typing into it?
In any case, changing to keydown should do what you need, you won't have to inject anything.
zc2Author Commented:
I am implementing a spreadsheet-like data editing page. I searched for some existing implementations on the internet and those I found do not satisfy our needs. The user is supposed to be able to freely navigate through the grid of textarea elements with the arrow keys.
Big Business Goals? Which KPIs Will Help You

The most successful MSPs rely on metrics – known as key performance indicators (KPIs) – for making informed decisions that help their businesses thrive, rather than just survive. This eBook provides an overview of the most important KPIs used by top MSPs.

Ah, I get it.
So as per above then, is there any reason you can't just use keydown?  That should work properly for what you need.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
zc2Author Commented:
Thank you very much! The keydown handler works perfectly and I don't even need to inject the keypress event.
Julian HansenCommented:
What is it you are trying to do?
Can you give us a context.

TEXTAREA controls - what are those
zc2Author Commented:
I explained my goal in a previous comment.
textarea are those:
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.