JavaScript innerText and textContent

I was having an issue with the javascript innerText property today. I was to lazy to convert the legacy code that I was working on to use proper DOM so I did some reading on the issue.

Turns out that FireFox doesn’t use innerText at all. Apparently the proper DOM property to use is textContent. textContent does basically the same thing as innerText.

A not so pretty solution to this issue is to check at the start of the script whether the browser supports innerText or textContent. I found a few resources that allowed me to copy and paste a few lines to make everything work.

This one which I found on coderlab is a little bulky but it gets the job done. It checks which property is available and then forces the programmer to check that flag every time he wants to use the property.


var hasInnerText =
(document.getElementsByTagName("body")[0].innerText\
 != undefined) ? true : false;
var elem = document.getElementById('id');
if(!hasInnerText){
    elem.textContent = value;
} else{
    elem.innerText = value;
}

This is the method I actually used. I just or’d the two different properties together and it seemed to work. I guess one will always be undefined.


var message = elem.innerText || elem.textContent || "";

At least FireFox is following the standards unlike Internet Explorer which always needs special css and javascript. Making everything work in Internet Explorer always adds hours onto development time…

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