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How do you get the cursor position in a textarea?

I have a textarea and I would like to know if I am on the last line in the textarea or the first line in the textarea with my cursor with JavaScript.

I thought of grabbing the position of the first newline character and the last newline character and then grabbing the position of the cursor.

var firstNewline = $('#myTextarea').val().indexOf('n');
var lastNewline = $('#myTextarea').val().lastIndexOf('n');

var cursorPosition = ?????;

if (cursorPosition < firstNewline)
    // I am on first line.
else if (cursorPosition > lastNewline)
    // I am on last line.
  • Is it possible to grab the cursor position within the textarea?
  • Do you have a better suggestion for finding out if I am on the first or last line of a textarea?

jQuery solutions preferred unless JavaScript is as simple or simpler.


If there is no selection, you can use the properties .selectionStart or .selectionEnd (with no selection they’re equal).

var cursorPosition = $('#myTextarea').prop("selectionStart");

Note that this is not supported in older browsers, most notably IE8-. There you’ll have to work with text ranges, but it’s a complete frustration.

I believe there is a library somewhere which is dedicated to getting and setting selections/cursor positions in input elements, though. I can’t recall its name, but there seem to be dozens on articles about this subject.