jQuery + Javascript: How to Select all Text in a Textbox CodeUnit 10 MAY 2010

I have a nice little inline editing function attached to one of my administrative pages which basically lists a whole lot of tag names currently saved on the system.

When you click on the tag name, it gets replaced by a textbox containing the name, allowing you to edit and then save your changes.

In order to make the experience a little more streamlined, I wanted to set it up so that when clicking on the tag name the text box should appear directly in its place, with all the characters in the textbox highlighted (i.e. selected) and with browser focus firmly on the box.

Achieving this turns out to be pretty simple.

Basically, plain old vanilla JavaScript already gives us the functionality to focus on an input element as well as select all characters in that element. So, we stuff that into its own little function:

function selectAllText(textbox) 





We then attach this function to the moment the textbox appears in place of the original label, binding it to the click event of the label element:






There, all done! (Now wasn’t that nice and simple stuff?)

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.