How do I change the text of a span element in JavaScript

How do I change the text of a span element in JavaScript

If I have a span, say:
hereismytext

How do I use JavaScript to change “hereismytext” to “newtext”?

Solutions/Answers:

Solution 1:

For modern browsers you should use:

document.getElementById("myspan").textContent="newtext";

While older browsers may not know textContent, it is not recommened to use innerHTML as it introduces an XSS vulnerarbility when the new text is user input (see other answers below for a more detailed discussion):

//POSSIBLY INSECURE IF NEWTEXT BECOMES A VARIABLE!!
document.getElementById("myspan").innerHTML="newtext";

Solution 2:

Using innerHTML is SO NOT RECOMMENDED.
Instead, you should create a textNode. This way, you are “binding” your text and you are not, at least in this case, vulnerable to an XSS attack.

document.getElementById("myspan").innerHTML = "sometext"; //INSECURE!!

The right way:

span = document.getElementById("myspan");
txt = document.createTextNode("your cool text");
span.appendChild(txt);

For more information about this vulnerability:
Cross Site Scripting (XSS) – OWASP

Edited nov 4th 2017:

Modified third line of code according to @mumush suggestion: “use appendChild(); instead”.

Btw, according to @Jimbo Jonny I think everything should be treated as user input by applying Security by layers principle. That way you won’t encounter any surprises.

Solution 3:

document.getElementById('myspan').innerHTML = 'newtext';

Solution 4:

EDIT: This was written in 2014. You probably don’t care about IE8 anymore and can forget about using innerText. Just use textContent and be done with it, hooray.

If you are the one supplying the text and no part of the text is supplied by the user (or some other source that you don’t control), then setting innerHTML might be acceptable:

// * Fine for hardcoded text strings like this one or strings you otherwise 
//   control.
// * Not OK for user-supplied input or strings you don't control unless
//   you know what you are doing and have sanitized the string first.
document.getElementById('myspan').innerHTML = 'newtext';

However, as others note, if you are not the source for any part of the text string, using innerHTML can subject you to content injection attacks like XSS if you’re not careful to properly sanitize the text first.

If you are using input from the user, here is one way to do it securely while also maintaining cross-browser compatibility:

var span = document.getElementById('myspan');
span.innerText = span.textContent = 'newtext';

Firefox doesn’t support innerText and IE8 doesn’t support textContent so you need to use both if you want to maintain cross-browser compatibility.

And if you want to avoid reflows (caused by innerText) where possible:

var span = document.getElementById('myspan');
if ('textContent' in span) {
    span.textContent = 'newtext';
} else {
    span.innerText = 'newtext';
}

Solution 5:

I use Jquery and none of the above helped, I don’t know why but this worked:

 $("#span_id").text("new_value");

Solution 6:

Here’s another way:

var myspan = document.getElementById('myspan');

if (myspan.innerText) {
    myspan.innerText = "newtext";
}
else
if (myspan.textContent) {
        myspan.textContent = "newtext";   
}

The innerText property will be detected by Safari, Google Chrome and MSIE. For Firefox, the standard way of doing things was to use textContent but since version 45 it too has an innerText property, as someone kindly apprised me recently. This solution tests to see if a browser supports either of these properties and if so, assigns the “newtext”.

Live demo: here