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setting limits into fields visualforce

i've created a visualforce that have some filters that i want to set a limit to have at least 3 caracters to do a search, someone could explain me how do i achieve that? 


As you would be holding the filter value in an varible, befor entering in the serach check for the size of it. If it is less than 3 then give out an apex mage using the

ApexPages.Message myMsg = new ApexPages.Message(ApexPages.Severity.ERROR,'Error: Invalid Input.');

Make sure to put <apex:pageMessages /> in VF page.

Option 2
Using javascript.

you could do this in two ways

1) using Javascript alert. you can use $Compnoent Global variable to get the value. you can have onlink javascript fuction which shows
    alert using the field value. refer below link on how to use $Component global variable.

2) using validation in the controller action method and display error using <apex:pageMessages />

    if (String.isBlank(searchFiler) || searchFiler.length() < 3) {
      ApexPages.addMessage(new ApexPages.Message(ApexPages.Severity.Error, 'searchFiler is required field and should have min 3 chars'));

I would prefer the approch two.