Document

The Document interface represents any web page loaded in the browser and serves as an entry point into the web page's content, which is the DOM tree.

The DOM tree includes elements such as <body> and <table>, among many others. It provides functionality globally to the document, like how to obtain the page's URL and create new elements in the document.

The Document interface describes the common properties and methods for any kind of document. Depending on the document's type (e.g. HTML, XML, SVG, …), a larger API is available: HTML documents, served with the "text/html" content type, also implement the HTMLDocument interface, whereas XML and SVG documents implement the XMLDocument interface.

Constructor

Document()

Creates a new Document object.

Properties

This interface also inherits from the Node and EventTarget interfaces.

Document.activeElement Read only

Returns the Element that currently has focus.

Document.body

Returns the <body> or <frameset> node of the current document.

Document.characterSetRead only

Returns the character set being used by the document.

Document.childElementCount Read only

Returns the number of child elements of the current document.

Document.children Read only

Returns the child elements of the current document.

Document.compatMode  Read only

Indicates whether the document is rendered in quirks or strict mode.

Document.contentType  Read only

Returns the Content-Type from the MIME Header of the current document.

Document.doctypeRead only

Returns the Document Type Definition (DTD) of the current document.

Document.documentElementRead only

Returns the Element that is a direct child of the document. For HTML documents, this is normally the HTMLHtmlElement object representing the document's <html> element.

Document.documentURIRead only

Returns the document location as a string.

Document.embedsRead only

Returns a list of the embedded <embed> elements within the current document.

Document.firstElementChild Read only

Returns the first child element of the current document.

Document.fonts

Returns the FontFaceSet interface of the current document.

Document.formsRead only

Returns a list of the <form> elements within the current document.

Document.fullscreenElement Read only

The element that's currently in full screen mode for this document.

Document.headRead only

Returns the <head> element of the current document.

Document.hiddenRead only

Returns a Boolean value indicating if the page is considered hidden or not.

Document.imagesRead only

Returns a list of the images in the current document.

Document.implementationRead only

Returns the DOM implementation associated with the current document.

Document.lastElementChild Read only

Returns the last child element of the current document.

Document.linksRead only

Returns a list of all the hyperlinks in the document.

Document.mozSyntheticDocument 

Returns a Boolean that is true only if this document is synthetic, such as a standalone image, video, audio file, or the like.

Document.pictureInPictureElement Read only

Returns the Element currently being presented in picture-in-picture mode in this document.

Document.pictureInPictureEnabled Read only

Returns true if the picture-in-picture feature is enabled.

Document.pluginsRead only

Returns a list of the available plugins.

Document.pointerLockElement Read only

Returns the element set as the target for mouse events while the pointer is locked. null if lock is pending, pointer is unlocked, or if the target is in another document.

Document.featurePolicy  Read only

Returns the FeaturePolicy interface which provides a simple API for introspecting the feature policies applied to a specific document.

Document.scriptsRead only

Returns all the <script> elements on the document.

Document.scrollingElementRead only

Returns a reference to the Element that scrolls the document.

Document.styleSheets Read only

Returns a StyleSheetList of CSSStyleSheet objects for stylesheets explicitly linked into, or embedded in a document.

Document.timeline  Read only

Returns timeline as a special instance of DocumentTimeline that is automatically created on page load.

Document.visibilityStateRead only

Returns a string denoting the visibility state of the document. Possible values are visible, hidden, prerender, and unloaded.

Extensions for HTMLDocument

The Document interface for HTML documents inherits from the HTMLDocument interface or, since HTML5, is extended for such documents.

Document.cookie

Returns a semicolon-separated list of the cookies for that document or sets a single cookie.

Document.defaultViewRead only

Returns a reference to the window object.

Document.designMode

Gets/sets the ability to edit the whole document.

Document.dir

Gets/sets directionality (rtl/ltr) of the document.

Document.domain 

Gets/sets the domain of the current document.

Document.lastModifiedRead only

Returns the date on which the document was last modified.

Document.locationRead only

Returns the URI of the current document.

Document.readyStateRead only

Returns loading status of the document.

Document.referrerRead only

Returns the URI of the page that linked to this page.

Document.title

Sets or gets the title of the current document.

Document.URLRead only

Returns the document location as a string.

Event handlers

The Document interface is extended with additional event handlers defined in GlobalEventHandlers.

Document.onafterscriptexecute 

Represents the event handling code for the afterscriptexecute event.

Document.onbeforescriptexecute 

Represents the event handling code for the beforescriptexecute event.

Document.oncopy 

Represents the event handling code for the copy event.

Document.oncut 

Represents the event handling code for the cut event.

Document.onfullscreenchange

Is an event handler representing the code to be called when the fullscreenchange event is raised.

Document.onfullscreenerror

Is an event handler representing the code to be called when the fullscreenerror event is raised.

Document.onpaste 

Represents the event handling code for the paste event.

Document.onreadystatechange

Represents the event handling code for the readystatechange event.

GlobalEventHandlers.onselectionchange 

Is an event handler representing the code to be called when the selectionchange event is raised.

Document.onvisibilitychange

Is an event handler representing the code to be called when the visibilitychange event is raised.

Deprecated properties

Document.alinkColor 

Returns or sets the color of active links in the document body.

Document.all   

Provides access to all elements in the document — it returns an HTMLAllCollection rooted at the document node. This is a legacy, non-standard property and should not be used.

Document.anchors  Read only

Returns a list of all of the anchors in the document.

Document.applets  Read only

Returns an ordered list of the applets within a document.

Document.bgColor 

Gets/sets the background color of the current document.

Document.charset  Read only

Alias of Document.characterSet. Use this property instead.

Document.fgColor 

Gets/sets the foreground color, or text color, of the current document.

Document.fullscreen 

true when the document is in full-screen mode.

Document.height   

Gets/sets the height of the current document.

Document.inputEncoding  Read only

Alias of Document.characterSet. Use this property instead.

Document.lastStyleSheetSet  Read only

Returns the name of the style sheet set that was last enabled. Has the value null until the style sheet is changed by setting the value of selectedStyleSheetSet.

Document.linkColor 

Gets/sets the color of hyperlinks in the document.

Document.preferredStyleSheetSet  Read only

Returns the preferred style sheet set as specified by the page author.

Document.rootElement 

Like Document.documentElement, but only for <svg> root elements. Use this property instead.

Document.selectedStyleSheetSet 

Returns which style sheet set is currently in use.

Document.styleSheetSets  Read only

Returns a list of the style sheet sets available on the document.

Document.vlinkColor 

Gets/sets the color of visited hyperlinks.

Document.width   

Returns the width of the current document.

Document.xmlEncoding 

Returns the encoding as determined by the XML declaration.

Document.xmlStandalone 

Returns true if the XML declaration specifies the document to be standalone (e.g., An external part of the DTD affects the document's content), else false.

Document.xmlVersion 

Returns the version number as specified in the XML declaration or "1.0" if the declaration is absent.

Methods

This interface also inherits from the Node and EventTarget interfaces.

Document.adoptNode()

Adopt node from an external document.

Document.append()

Inserts a set of Node objects or DOMString objects after the last child of the document.

Document.captureEvents() 

See Window.captureEvents.

Document.caretPositionFromPoint()

Returns a CaretPosition object containing the DOM node containing the caret, and caret's character offset within that node.

Document.caretRangeFromPoint() 

Gets a Range object for the document fragment under the specified coordinates.

Document.createAttribute()

Creates a new Attr object and returns it.

Document.createAttributeNS()

Creates a new attribute node in a given namespace and returns it.

Document.createCDATASection()

Creates a new CDATA node and returns it.

Document.createComment()

Creates a new comment node and returns it.

Document.createDocumentFragment()

Creates a new document fragment.

Document.createElement()

Creates a new element with the given tag name.

Document.createElementNS()

Creates a new element with the given tag name and namespace URI.

Document.createEntityReference() 

Creates a new entity reference object and returns it.

Document.createEvent()

Creates an event object.

Document.createNodeIterator()

Creates a NodeIterator object.

Document.createProcessingInstruction()

Creates a new ProcessingInstruction object.

Document.createRange()

Creates a Range object.

Document.createTextNode()

Creates a text node.

Document.createTouch() 

Creates a Touch object.

Document.createTouchList() 

Creates a TouchList object.

Document.createTreeWalker()

Creates a TreeWalker object.

Document.elementFromPoint()

Returns the topmost element at the specified coordinates.

Document.elementsFromPoint()

Returns an array of all elements at the specified coordinates.

Document.enableStyleSheetsForSet() 

Enables the style sheets for the specified style sheet set.

Document.exitPictureInPicture()

Remove the video from the floating picture-in-picture window back to its original container.

Document.exitPointerLock() 

Release the pointer lock.

Document.getAnimations()

Returns an array of all Animation objects currently in effect, whose target elements are descendants of the document.

Document.getBoxQuads()

Returns a list of DOMQuad objects representing the CSS fragments of the node.

Document.getElementById

Returns an object reference to the identified element.

Document.getElementsByClassName()

Returns a list of elements with the given class name.

Document.getElementsByTagName()

Returns a list of elements with the given tag name.

Document.getElementsByTagNameNS()

Returns a list of elements with the given tag name and namespace.

Document.getSelection()

Returns a Selection object representing the range of text selected by the user, or the current position of the caret.

Document.hasStorageAccess() 

Returns a Promise that resolves with a boolean value indicating whether the document has access to its first-party storage.

Document.importNode()

Returns a clone of a node from an external document.

Document.normalizeDocument() 

Replaces entities, normalizes text nodes, etc.

Document.prepend()

Inserts a set of Node objects or DOMString objects before the first child of the document.

Document.querySelector()

Returns the first Element node within the document, in document order, that matches the specified selectors.

Document.querySelectorAll()

Returns a list of all the Element nodes within the document that match the specified selectors.

Document.releaseCapture() 

Releases the current mouse capture if it's on an element in this document.

Document.releaseEvents()   

See Window.releaseEvents().

Document.replaceChildren()

Replaces the existing children of a document with a specified new set of children.

Document.requestStorageAccess()

Returns a Promise that resolves if the access to first-party storage was granted, and rejects if access was denied.

Document.mozSetImageElement() 

Allows you to change the element being used as the background image for a specified element ID.

The Document interface is extended with the XPathEvaluator interface:

Document.createExpression()

Compiles an XPathExpression which can then be used for (repeated) evaluations.

Document.createNSResolver()

Creates an XPathNSResolver object.

Document.evaluate()

Evaluates an XPath expression.

Extension for HTML documents

The Document interface for HTML documents inherit from the HTMLDocument interface or, since HTML5, is extended for such documents:

Document.clear()   

In majority of modern browsers, including recent versions of Firefox and Internet Explorer, this method does nothing.

Document.close()

Closes a document stream for writing.

Document.execCommand() 

On an editable document, executes a formatting command.

Document.getElementsByName()

Returns a list of elements with the given name.

Document.hasFocus()

Returns true if the focus is currently located anywhere inside the specified document.

Document.open()

Opens a document stream for writing.

Document.queryCommandEnabled() 

Returns true if the formatting command can be executed on the current range.

Document.queryCommandIndeterm() 

Returns true if the formatting command is in an indeterminate state on the current range.

Document.queryCommandState() 

Returns true if the formatting command has been executed on the current range.

Document.queryCommandSupported() 

Returns true if the formatting command is supported on the current range.

Document.queryCommandValue() 

Returns the current value of the current range for a formatting command.

Document.write()

Writes text in a document.

Document.writeln()

Writes a line of text in a document.

Events

Listen to these events using addEventListener() or by assigning an event listener to the oneventname property of this interface.

scroll

Fired when the document view or an element has been scrolled. Also available via the onscroll property.

visibilitychange

Fired when the content of a tab has become visible or has been hidden. Also available via the onvisibilitychange property.

wheel

Fired when the user rotates a wheel button on a pointing device (typically a mouse). Also available via the onwheel property.

Animation events

animationcancel

Fired when an animation unexpectedly aborts. Also available via the onanimationcancel property.

animationend

Fired when an animation has completed normally. Also available via the onanimationend property.

animationiteration

Fired when an animation iteration has completed. Also available via the onanimationiteration property.

animationstart

Fired when an animation starts. Also available via the onanimationstart property.

Clipboard events

copy

Fired when the user initiates a copy action through the browser's user interface. Also available via the oncopy property.

cut

Fired when the user initiates a cut action through the browser's user interface. Also available via the oncut property.

paste

Fired when the user initiates a paste action through the browser's user interface. Also available via the onpaste property.

Drag & drop events

drag

Fired every few hundred milliseconds as an element or text selection is being dragged by the user. Also available via the ondrag property.

dragend

Fired when a drag operation is being ended (by releasing a mouse button or hitting the escape key). Also available via the ondragend property.

dragenter

Fired when a dragged element or text selection enters a valid drop target. Also available via the ondragenter property.

dragleave

Fired when a dragged element or text selection leaves a valid drop target. Also available via the ondragleave property.

dragover

Fired when an element or text selection is being dragged over a valid drop target (every few hundred milliseconds). Also available via the ondragover property.

dragstart

Fired when the user starts dragging an element or text selection. Also available via the ondragstart property.

drop

Fired when an element or text selection is dropped on a valid drop target. Also available via the ondrop property.

Fullscreen events

fullscreenchange

Fired when the Document transitions into or out of full-screen mode. Also available via the onfullscreenchange property.

fullscreenerror

Fired if an error occurs while attempting to switch into or out of full-screen mode. Also available via the  onfullscreenerror property.

Keyboard events

keydown

Fired when a key is pressed. Also available via the onkeydown property.

keypress

Fired when a key that produces a character value is pressed down.  Also available via the onkeypress property.

keyup

Fired when a key is released. Also available via the onkeyup property.

Load & unload events

DOMContentLoaded

Fired when the document has been completely loaded and parsed, without waiting for stylesheets, images, and subframes to finish loading.

readystatechange

Fired when the readyState attribute of a document has changed. Also available via the onreadystatechange property.

Pointer events

gotpointercapture

Fired when an element captures a pointer using setPointerCapture(). Also available via the ongotpointercapture property.

lostpointercapture

Fired when a captured pointer is released. Also available via the onlostpointercapture property.

pointercancel

Fired when a pointer event is canceled. Also available via the onpointercancel property.

pointerdown

Fired when a pointer becomes active. Also available via the onpointerdown property.

pointerenter

Fired when a pointer is moved into the hit test boundaries of an element or one of its descendants. Also available via the onpointerenter property.

pointerleave

Fired when a pointer is moved out of the hit test boundaries of an element. Also available via the onpointerleave property.

pointerlockchange

Fired when the pointer is locked/unlocked. Also available via the onpointerlockchange property.

pointerlockerror

Fired when locking the pointer failed. Also available via the onpointerlockerror property.

pointermove

Fired when a pointer changes coordinates. Also available via the onpointermove property.

pointerout

Fired when a pointer is moved out of the hit test boundaries of an element (among other reasons). Also available via the onpointerout property.

pointerover

Fired when a pointer is moved into an element's hit test boundaries. Also available via the onpointerover property.

pointerup

Fired when a pointer is no longer active. Also available via the onpointerup property.

Selection events

selectionchange

Fired when the current text selection on a document is changed. Also available via the onselectionchange property.

selectstart

Fired when the user begins a new selection. Also available via the onselectstart property.

Touch events

touchcancel

Fired when one or more touch points have been disrupted in an implementation-specific manner (for example, too many touch points are created). Also available via the ontouchcancel property.

touchend

Fired when one or more touch points are removed from the touch surface. Also available via the ontouchend property

touchmove

Fired when one or more touch points are moved along the touch surface. Also available via the ontouchmove property

touchstart

Fired when one or more touch points are placed on the touch surface. Also available via the ontouchstart property

Transition events

transitioncancel

Fired when a CSS transition is canceled. Also available via the ontransitioncancel property.

transitionend

Fired when a CSS transition has completed. Also available via the ontransitionend property.

transitionrun

Fired when a CSS transition is first created. Also available via the ontransitionrun property.

transitionstart

Fired when a CSS transition has actually started. Also available via the ontransitionstart property.

Non-standard extensions 

Non-standard: This feature is non-standard and is not on a standards track. Do not use it on production sites facing the Web: it will not work for every user. There may also be large incompatibilities between implementations and the behavior may change in the future.

Firefox notes

Firefox defines some non-standard methods:

Document.execCommandShowHelp()

This method never did anything and always threw an exception, so it was removed in Gecko 14.0 (Firefox 14.0 / Thunderbird 14.0 / SeaMonkey 2.11).

Document.getBoxObjectFor() 

Use the Element.getBoundingClientRect() method instead.

Document.loadOverlay()

Loads a XUL overlay dynamically. This only works in XUL documents.

Document.queryCommandText()

This method never did anything but throw an exception, and was removed in Gecko 14 (Firefox 14 / Thunderbird 14 / SeaMonkey 2.11).

Internet Explorer notes

Microsoft defines some non-standard properties:

Document.fileSize  

Returns size in bytes of the document. Starting with Internet Explorer 11, that property is no longer supported. See MSDN.

Specifications

Specification
DOM Standard (DOM)
# interface-document
HTML Standard (HTML)
# the-document-object
CSSOM View Module (CSSOM View)
# extensions-to-the-document-interface
Pointer Lock 2.0
# extensions-to-the-document-interface
Page Visibility Level 2 (Page Visibility 2)
# extensions-to-the-document-interface
Selection API
# extensions-to-document-interface

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser