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How to get the Highlighted/Selected text in JavaScript?

  • Last Updated : 15 Mar, 2021
Geek Week

There may be a need to find out the text selected/highlighted by the user. It can be done very easily using the window and document objects and their properties. Handling selected text is different for different browsers. The ways to get selected text are shown below:

Example-1: By using window.getSelection property

function selection(){
if (window.getSelection)
       return window.getSelection();
}

Example 2: By using document.getSelection property

function selection(){
if (document.getSelection)
       return document.getSelection();
}

Example 3: By using document.selection property

function selection(){
if (document.selection)
       return document.selection.createRange().text;;
}

Time to try out the code. Run the code, select a text and press the button to show the selected text:
Example:




<html>
  
<head>
    <title>Selected Text</title>
</head>
  
<body>
    <center>
        <h1 style=color:green>
          GeeksforGeeks
      </h1>
        <script>
            // Function to get the Selected Text 
            function getSelectedText() {
                var selectedText = '';
  
                // window.getSelection
                if (window.getSelection) {
                    selectedText = window.getSelection();
                }
                // document.getSelection
                else if (document.getSelection) {
                    selectedText = document.getSelection();
                }
                // document.selection
                else if (document.selection) {
                    selectedText = 
                    document.selection.createRange().text;
                } else return;
                // To write the selected text into the textarea
                document.testform.selectedtext.value = selectedText;
            }
        </script>
  
        <p>Select any part of this sentence
          and press the button</p>
  
        <!--Button to invoke the 
         function to get the selected text-->
        <input type="button"
               value="Get Selection" 
               onmousedown="getSelectedText()">
        
        <!--Form to show the selected text as output-->
        <form name="testform">
            <textarea name="selectedtext" 
                      rows="5"
                      cols="20"></textarea>
        </form>
    </center>
</body>
  
</html>

Output:
Before:

After:

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