jQuery text() and newlines

jQuery text() and newlines

I want to be able to say
$(someElem).text(‘this\n has\n newlines);

and it renders with newlines in the browser. The only workaround I have found is to set the css property ‘white-space’ to ‘pre’ on someElem. This almost works, but then I have an annoyingly large padding between the text and the top of someElem, even when I set padding to 0. Is there a way to get rid of this?


Solution 1:

It’s the year 2015. The correct answer to this question at this point is to use CSS white-space: pre-line or white-space: pre-wrap. Clean and elegant. The lowest version of IE that supports the pair is 8.


P.S. Until CSS3 become common you’d probably need to manually trim off initial and/or trailing white-spaces.

Solution 2:

If you store the jQuery object in a variable you can do this:

var obj = $("#example").text('this\n has\n newlines');
<script src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/2.1.1/jquery.min.js"></script>
<p id="example"></p>

If you prefer, you can also create a function to do this with a simple call, just like jQuery.text() does:

$.fn.multiline = function(text){
    return this;

// Now you can do this:
$("#example").multiline('this\n has\n newlines');
<script src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/2.1.1/jquery.min.js"></script>
<p id="example"></p>

Solution 3:

Here is what I use:

function htmlForTextWithEmbeddedNewlines(text) {
    var htmls = [];
    var lines = text.split(/\n/);
    // The temporary <div/> is to perform HTML entity encoding reliably.
    // document.createElement() is *much* faster than jQuery('<div></div>')
    // http://stackoverflow.com/questions/268490/
    // You don't need jQuery but then you need to struggle with browser
    // differences in innerText/textContent yourself
    var tmpDiv = jQuery(document.createElement('div'));
    for (var i = 0 ; i < lines.length ; i++) {
    return htmls.join("<br>");

Solution 4:

Alternatively, try using .html and then wrap with <pre> tags:

$(someElem).html('this\n has\n newlines').wrap('<pre />');

Solution 5:

You can use html instead of text and replace each occurrence of \n with <br>. You will have to correctly escape your text though.

x = x.replace(/&/g, '&amp;')
     .replace(/>/g, '&gt;')
     .replace(/</g, '&lt;')
     .replace(/\n/g, '<br>');

Solution 6:

I would suggest to work with the someElem element directly, as replacements with .html() would replace other HTML tags within the string as well.

Here is my function:

function nl2br(el) {
  var lines = $(el).text().split(/\n/);
  for (var i = 0 ; i < lines.length ; i++) {
    if (i > 0) $(el).append('<br>');
  return el;

Call it by:

someElem = nl2br(someElem);