Get contentEditable caret index position

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I’m finding tons of good, crossbrowser anwers on how to SET the cursor or caret index position in a contentEditable element, but none on how to GET or find its index…

What I want to do is know the index of the caret within this div, on keyup.

So, when the user is typing text, I can at any point know its cursor’s index within the contentEditable element.

EDIT: I’m looking for the INDEX within the div contents (text), not the cursor coordinates.

<div id="contentBox" contentEditable="true"></div>

$('#contentbox').keyup(function() { 
    // ... ? 


The following code assumes:

  • There is always a single text node within the editable <div> and no other nodes
  • The editable div does not have the CSS white-space property set to pre

If you need a more general approach that will work content with nested elements, try this answer:


function getCaretPosition(editableDiv) {
  var caretPos = 0,
    sel, range;
  if (window.getSelection) {
    sel = window.getSelection();
    if (sel.rangeCount) {
      range = sel.getRangeAt(0);
      if (range.commonAncestorContainer.parentNode == editableDiv) {
        caretPos = range.endOffset;
  } else if (document.selection && document.selection.createRange) {
    range = document.selection.createRange();
    if (range.parentElement() == editableDiv) {
      var tempEl = document.createElement("span");
      editableDiv.insertBefore(tempEl, editableDiv.firstChild);
      var tempRange = range.duplicate();
      tempRange.setEndPoint("EndToEnd", range);
      caretPos = tempRange.text.length;
  return caretPos;
#caretposition {
  font-weight: bold;
<script src=""></script>
<div id="contentbox" contenteditable="true">Click me and move cursor with keys or mouse</div>
<div id="caretposition">0</div>
  var update = function() {
  $('#contentbox').on("mousedown mouseup keydown keyup", update);

Source: stackoverflow