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JavaScript Interactive Web Pages with JavaScript Traversing and Manipulating the DOM with JavaScript Perform: Modifying Elements

Ken Alger
Ken Alger
Treehouse Teacher


Mr. Chalkley describes some of the differences between innerText and innerHTML. After a bit of frustration with my code not working in Firefox, I discovered that Firefox does not support innerText. So, for the project I used innerHTML and/or textContent in it's place.

I know there is a jQuery way around this, but to utilize strictly JavaScript what is the best method to satisfy all browsers?

3 Answers

Andrew Chalkley
Andrew Chalkley
Treehouse Guest Teacher

Hey Ken,

Thanks for pointing this out. I've included some fairly straightforward cross-browser code below with some comments explaining what's going on.

  //check if innerText is undefined
  if (typeof editButton.innerText === "undefined")  {
    //if it is undefined use textContent
    editButton.textContent = "Edit";
  } else {
    //else use innerText
    editButton.innerText = "Edit";

You can see why you'd want to use jQuery for a lot of this stuff. The difference between writing JavaScript in the browser and other environments like in Node.js or the other examples I shared, is that browsers don't always agree. Generally when an API is defined there won't be much of this branching code, but in the browser you could be doing it quite a bit.


Keith Barlow
Keith Barlow
5,114 Points

? So why don't you add this to the tutorial? Do you have any idea how much of peoples time you waste?

And also edit out your Umms and arrs and also when you make typos????

OK Cool!

Try using textContent Also, here's a post on stack that should help explain it: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1359469/innertext-works-in-ie-but-not-in-firefox

Chris Shaw
Chris Shaw
26,676 Points

Hi Ken,

There is a nice explanation as to why Firefox doesn't use innerText on the MDN, essentially is comes down to web standards as mentioned in the Stack Overflow thread.