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Oct
10
2016
JS get HTML code from a DIV element

Most people -reading this blog post- will scream in their chairs … PLZ keep in-mind that I am not a developer and perhaps the below workaround is just that, a workaround.

I have this case that I need to render (with JS) text that already has passed through the PHP parser.
The caveat is that the text output is inside a <DIV> element and has HTML code in it.

Most of you understand that HTML inside a DIV element is not something useful as the browser’s engine is rendering it to HTML on page load. That means, that we can not get the innerHTML of this DIV element, as it is already rendered by the browser.

Let me give you an example:

<div>

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
  <body>
      <p align="center">
        <div> An Example </div>
      </p>
  </body>
</html>

</div>

If you open a test.html page with the above code, and fire up any browser, you will see only: An Example as the output of the above DIV. There is no way to get the HTML code from the above example.

You probably thinking that I need to edit the PHP parser. Actually this DIV element is been filled up with an Ajax request from the PHP API, so no luck on the server-side code.

After spending a brutal weekend with http://www.w3schools.com and reading through every stackoverflow question, nothing appeared to get me closer to my purpose.

I’ve tried jquery with .html(), .text(), getting the innerHTML, I’ve tried everything I could think of. The only way to get the HTML code from inside an HTML DOM element is if the HTML code was/is inside a TEXT element, somehow.

I needed to get a TEXT element instead of a DIV element, so that I could get the text value of the HTML element.

So here is my workaround:

I encapsulated a hidden textarea HTML element inside the DIV !


<div class="show_myclass">
<textarea class="myclass" style="display:none;">

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
  <body>
      <p align="center">
        <div> An Example </div>
      </p>
  </body>
</html>

</ textarea>
</ div>

I can now, get the text value of the textarea and use it.
My JS code became something like this:


1.    $(".myclass").each(function(i, block ) {
2.        document.getElementsByClassName("show_myclass")[i].innerHTML = my_function_that_does_magic( block.value );
3.    });

Let me explain a few things … for people that are nοt so much familiar with jquery or JS (like me).

Line 1: Α jquery selector by class, exactly like this getElementsByClassName() in HTML DOM but it is an iterator already with each function. For every element with classname = myclass do something. In a page with multiple DIVs-TextAreas this will be very useful.

Line 2: Get the TEXT value from the textarea ( block.value ) and run it as argument thought our magic function. Then populate the HTML result on the DIV element with the same iterator.

In conclusion, when the browser finally renders the whole page, the above javascript code will override the DIV element and will instead of -not- showing the hidden textarea, will show the output of our my_function_that_does_magic function !!!

Tag(s): JS, javascript