Terminology for text field that displays possible matches

Hey everyone,

In the web app I'm documenting we have a number of text fields where, when you start typing something, it displays a list of matches. e.g. if it were a "state" field you might have


   New Jersey
  New Mexico
  New York

You can then click the state you wish to select.

Am I correct in saying that the above is not a search box? (The database field is text.)
Stephen KairysTechnical Writer - ConsultantAsked:
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Correct! That is not a search box. It is a "drop-down list" or "list of values". You and I have discussed this before here at EE:


Regards, Joe
Jeffrey Dake Senior Director of TechnologyCommented:
I usually call that a text input with autocomplete.

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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
> autocomplete

Yes, or auto-reduce, as discussed in the thread mentioned above; or auto-suggest/autosuggest, especially when used in a search engine, as Wikipedia mentions.
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Stephen KairysTechnical Writer - ConsultantAuthor Commented:
@Joe, maybe one could say that it's a hybrid of a text box and drop-down menu? In the thread you cited, it was merely a drop-down menu without any textual input from the user.  Thanks.
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Well, it's always a hybrid box, in essence...that's where the selected value goes...into the input box. But it's not called that...it's called a drop-down or list of values (LOV). Sometimes you can type into the box (rather than selecting one of the choices in the LOV), in which case that's referred to as free or free-form text. I'd be willing to call that a "hybrid" text box, meaning you may select one of the drop-down choices or type into the box. Here's an article discussing that for Excel (although it doesn't call it "hybrid"):


Regards, Joe
Stephen KairysTechnical Writer - ConsultantAuthor Commented:
Thanks, team! :)
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Always a pleasure!
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