Using a jQuery selector on an ID containing a Pipe (|) Character Programming 24 FEB 2012

I’m quite fond of using the pipe (|) character in tag, id and name properties because it just seems visually such a great delimiter to use when stuffing a string full of useful information to be extracted via splitting or exploding at a later stage.

However, here’s a nasty one which you might not be aware of – jQuery selectors do in fact no enjoy special characters like the pipe ‘|’ – for the very reason that it’s a special character!

So running a selector on an ID which contains a | in the normal fashion will fail (i.e. not find anything):


To get around identifiers that use special characters like our friend the |, you need to delimit it so:


And now you know! :)

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About Craig Lotter

Software developer, husband and dad to two little girls. Writer behind An Exploring South African. I don't have time for myself any more.

  • I used something like this on my last project:

    /* the HTML */

    /* the JS  */
    var data = $(“#some-data”).val();

    data = data.replace(/’/g, “””);

    data = $.parseJSON(data); 


    What do you think?