Within my Visualforce page I'm binding to a boolean property in a controller subclass to disable a apex:inputText control.

Page Extract:

<apex:inputText id="impressions" value="{!drop.impressionsRequested}" 
    disabled="{!dropObj.impressionsDisabled}" />

Controller subclass Extract:

public with sharing class AddDropController {
    public virtual class Drop implements Comparable {

        // Should the user be able to enter impressions?
        public boolean impressionsDisabled { get; set;}


The page seems to load fine and the text input is disabled, but when I submit back via a command button I get an error in the page Messages:

element value must resolve to a String type!

element value must resolve to a String type!

The VF_PAGE_MESSAGE appears in the log file when the sub class properties are being assigned:

VF_PAGE_MESSAGE added when setting properties

If I remove the disabled attribute binding from the Visualforce markup the error does not occur.

Is there something I'm missing about binding to the disabled attribute?

3 Answers 3


Can you just use outputText instead if it needs to be disabled? Not the same appearance but might work for you?

<apex:outputText id="impressions" value="{!drop.impressionsRequested}" rendered="{!dropObj.impressionsDisabled}"/>

<apex:inputText id="impressions" value="{!drop.impressionsRequested}" rendered="{!NOT(dropObj.impressionsDisabled)}"/>

Or instead out output text you could just use a disabled HTML input element so it would maintain the same look:

<apex:outputPanel layout="none" rendered="{!dropObj.impressionsDisabled}">
    <input type="text" value="{!drop.impressionsRequested}"/>
  • Is it possible to bind the values in the html <input> text? I tried doing that but I am unable to set the values in the getter/setter variable.
    – Sam
    Jul 11, 2013 at 12:02
  • Toggling the rendering of the inputText rather than disabling it does work, so that is a viable solution. It does make me wonder why it breaks in the first place though. I suspect Salesforce is looking for the form value corresponding to the input binding, which didn't come back as the input was disabled. Jul 11, 2013 at 23:11
  • Yeah I'm pretty sure they return null or something similar. I've had the same issue in the past and always jsut done this.
    – Matt Lacey
    Jul 12, 2013 at 1:14
  • @sameermiraj As far as I'm aware there's no way to do that. You can use javascript events to copy the value after each key press to an <apex:inputHidden> field though.
    – Matt Lacey
    Jul 12, 2013 at 1:14

I too, experienced this issue with inputText fields that had been updated to a disabled state via javascript. There is, however, a simpler solution in at lease some situations.

While Visualforce has issues with inputText while disabled, it handles inputFields marked as "readOnly" just fine.


j$('#id_here').attr('readOnly', true); 

I could not add comment to Kevin's post. "readOnly" attr works fine. Here is the code

       //Make fields read only based on profile
            element = $(document.getElementById(this.id)); 
            element.attr('readOnly', true); 
            element.css({'background-color' : '#DFD8D1'});
            element.attr('title','Insufficient Privileges');

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