Get cursor position (in characters) within a text Input field

Get cursor position (in characters) within a text Input field

How can I get the caret position from within an input field?
I have found a few bits and pieces via Google, but nothing bullet proof.
Basically something like a jQuery plugin would be ideal, so I could simply do


Solution 1:

Easier update:

Use field.selectionStart example in this answer.

Thanks to @commonSenseCode for pointing this out.

Old answer:

Found this solution. Not jquery based but there is no problem to integrate it to jquery:

** Returns the caret (cursor) position of the specified text field (oField).
** Return value range is 0-oField.value.length.
function doGetCaretPosition (oField) {

  // Initialize
  var iCaretPos = 0;

  // IE Support
  if (document.selection) {

    // Set focus on the element

    // To get cursor position, get empty selection range
    var oSel = document.selection.createRange();

    // Move selection start to 0 position
    oSel.moveStart('character', -oField.value.length);

    // The caret position is selection length
    iCaretPos = oSel.text.length;

  // Firefox support
  else if (oField.selectionStart || oField.selectionStart == '0')
    iCaretPos = oField.selectionDirection=='backward' ? oField.selectionStart : oField.selectionEnd;

  // Return results
  return iCaretPos;

Solution 2:

Nice one, big thanks to Max.

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I’ve wrapped the functionality in his answer into jQuery if anyone wants to use it.

(function($) {
    $.fn.getCursorPosition = function() {
        var input = this.get(0);
        if (!input) return; // No (input) element found
        if ('selectionStart' in input) {
            // Standard-compliant browsers
            return input.selectionStart;
        } else if (document.selection) {
            // IE
            var sel = document.selection.createRange();
            var selLen = document.selection.createRange().text.length;
            sel.moveStart('character', -input.value.length);
            return sel.text.length - selLen;

Solution 3:


Updated answer

Use selectionStart, it is compatible with all major browsers.

document.getElementById('foobar').addEventListener('keyup', e => {
  console.log('Caret at: ',
<input id="foobar" />

Update: This works only when no type is defined or type=”text” on the input.

Solution 4:

Got a very simple solution.
Try the following code with verified result

    function f1(el) {
    var val = el.value;
    alert(val.slice(0, el.selectionStart).length);
<input type=text id=t1 value=abcd>
    <button onclick="f1(document.getElementById('t1'))">check position</button>

I’m giving you the fiddle_demo

Solution 5:

   (function($) {
    $.fn.getCursorPosition = function() {
        var input = this.get(0);
        if (!input) return; // No (input) element found
        if (document.selection) {
            // IE
        return 'selectionStart' in input ? input.selectionStart:'' || Math.abs(document.selection.createRange().moveStart('character', -input.value.length));

Solution 6:

There is now a nice plugin for this: The Caret Plugin

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Then you can get the position using $("#myTextBox").caret() or set it via $("#myTextBox").caret(position)