Use JavaScript to place cursor at end of text in text input element

Use JavaScript to place cursor at end of text in text input element

What is the best way (and I presume simplest way) to place the cursor at the end of the text in a input text element via JavaScript – after focus has been set to the element?


Solution 1:

I faced this same issue (after setting focus through RJS/prototype) in IE.
Firefox was already leaving the cursor at the end when there is already a value for the field. IE was forcing the cursor to the beginning of the text.

The solution I arrived at is as follows:

<input id="search" type="text" value="mycurrtext" size="30" 
       onfocus="this.value = this.value;" name="search"/>

This works in both IE7 and FF3

Solution 2:

There’s a simple way to get it working in most browsers.

this.selectionStart = this.selectionEnd = this.value.length;

However, due to the *quirks of a few browsers, a more inclusive answer looks more like this

setTimeout(function(){ that.selectionStart = that.selectionEnd = 10000; }, 0);

Using jQuery (to set the listener, but it’s not necessary otherwise)

  var that = this;
  setTimeout(function(){ that.selectionStart = that.selectionEnd = 10000; }, 0);
<script src=""></script>
<input id='el' type='text' value='put cursor at end'>

Using Vanilla JS (borrowing addEvent function from this answer)

// Basic cross browser addEvent
function addEvent(elem, event, fn){
  elem.addEventListener(event, fn, false);
  elem.attachEvent("on" + event,
  function(){ return(, window.event)); });
var element = document.getElementById('el');

  var that = this;
  setTimeout(function(){ that.selectionStart = that.selectionEnd = 10000; }, 0);
<input id='el' type='text' value='put cursor at end'>


Chrome has an odd quirk where the focus event fires before the cursor is moved into the field; which screws my simple solution up. Two options to fix this:

  1. You can add a timeout of 0 ms (to defer the operation until the stack is clear)
  2. You can change the event from focus to mouseup. This would be pretty annoying for the user unless you still kept track of focus. I’m not really in love with either of these options.
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Also, @vladkras pointed out that some older versions of Opera incorrectly calculate the length when it has spaces. For this you can use a huge number that should be larger than your string.

Solution 3:

Try this, it has worked for me:

//input is the input element

input.focus(); //sets focus to element
var val = this.input.value; //store the value of the element
this.input.value = ''; //clear the value of the element
this.input.value = val; //set that value back.  

For the cursor to be move to the end, the input has to have focus first, then when the value is changed it will goto the end. If you set .value to the same, it won’t change in chrome.

Solution 4:

After hacking around with this a bit, I found the best way was to use the setSelectionRange function if the browser supports it; if not, revert to using the method in Mike Berrow’s answer (i.e. replace the value with itself).

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I’m also setting scrollTop to a high value in case we’re in a vertically-scrollable textarea. (Using an arbitrary high value seems more reliable than $(this).height() in Firefox and Chrome.)

I’ve made it is as a jQuery plugin. (If you’re not using jQuery I trust you can still get the gist easily enough.)

I’ve tested in IE6, IE7, IE8, Firefox 3.5.5, Google Chrome 3.0, Safari 4.0.4, Opera 10.00.

It’s available on as the PutCursorAtEnd plugin. For your convenience, the code for release 1.0 is as follows:

// jQuery plugin: PutCursorAtEnd 1.0
// by teedyay
// Puts the cursor at the end of a textbox/ textarea

// codesnippet: 691e18b1-f4f9-41b4-8fe8-bc8ee51b48d4
    jQuery.fn.putCursorAtEnd = function()
    return this.each(function()

        // If this function exists...
        if (this.setSelectionRange)
        // ... then use it
        // (Doesn't work in IE)

        // Double the length because Opera is inconsistent about whether a carriage return is one character or two. Sigh.
        var len = $(this).val().length * 2;
        this.setSelectionRange(len, len);
        // ... otherwise replace the contents with itself
        // (Doesn't work in Google Chrome)

        // Scroll to the bottom, in case we're in a tall textarea
        // (Necessary for Firefox and Google Chrome)
        this.scrollTop = 999999;

Solution 5:

<script type="text/javascript">  
    function SetEnd(txt) {  
      if (txt.createTextRange) {  
       var FieldRange = txt.createTextRange();  
       FieldRange.moveStart('character', txt.value.length);  
      else {  
       //Firefox and Opera  
       var length = txt.value.length;  
       txt.setSelectionRange(length, length);  

This function works for me in IE9, Firefox 6.x, and Opera 11.x

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Solution 6:

I’ve tried the following with quite great success in chrome

$("input.focus").focus(function () {
    var val = this.value,
        $this = $(this);

    setTimeout(function () {
    }, 1);

Quick rundown:

It takes every input field with the class focus on it, then stores the old value of the input field in a variable, afterwards it applies the empty string to the input field.

Then it waits 1 milisecond and puts in the old value again.