Topic: getting value from form??


I have a form which contains a text_area. I would like to be able to access the text in the text_area without submitting the form, is this possible?

More details.. The text area is a 'user file' and when the form is submitted, the users changes in the text_area are saved. I use :onkeypressed => remote_function to make a call to update the view (i want to edit the file name on the web page, to *file name, so the user knows they have to save changes).
- Firstly  - is there anyway to just execute the call once - as thats all i need..
- Secondly - is there anyway to pass the edited content of the text_area as a string in the remote call to the controller.. - so i can save this seperately??

Any light that you can shed on either firstly or secondly would be very much appreciated..