The MutationObserverInit dictionary's optional characterData property is used to specify whether or not to monitor the node or nodes being observed for changes to their textual contents.

Character data changes are detectable on any text node, including nodes based on the Text, ProcessingInstruction, and Comment interfaces.


var options = {
  characterData: true | false


A Boolean value indicating whether or not to call the observer's callback function when textual nodes' values change.

If true, the callback specified when observe() was used to start observing the node or subtree is called any time the contents of a text node are changed.

You can expand the capabilities of attribute mutation monitoring using other options:

  • characterDataOldValue lets you specify whether or not you want the previous value of changed text nodes to be provided using the MutationRecord's oldValue property.
  • subtree lets you specify whether to watch the target node and all of its descendants (true), or just the target node (false).

If you set characterDataOldValue to true, characterData is automatically assumed to be true, even if you don't expressly set it as such.



Specification Status Comment
The definition of 'MutationObserverInit.characterData' in that specification.
Living Standard  

Browser compatibility

FeatureChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafari
Basic support


18 — 26 webkit



6 — 7 webkit

FeatureAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge mobileFirefox for AndroidOpera AndroidiOS SafariSamsung Internet
Basic support ?


18 — 26 webkit



6 — 7 webkit


1. Starting in Firefox 36, characterData has no default value; previously, its default value was false.


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Last updated by: Sheppy,