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.

The Selection.modify() method applies a change to the current selection or cursor position, using simple textual commands.


sel.modify(alter, direction, granularity)


The type of change to apply. Specify "move" to move the current cursor position or "extend" to extend the current selection.
The direction in which to adjust the current selection. You can specify "forward" or "backward" to adjust in the appropriate direction based on the language at the selection point. If you want to adjust in a specific direction, you can specify "left" or "right".
The distance to adjust the current selection or cursor position. You can move by "character", "word", "sentence", "line", "paragraph", "lineboundary", "sentenceboundary", "paragraphboundary", or "documentboundary".
Note: Gecko does not implement "sentence", "paragraph", "sentenceboundary", "paragraphboundary", or "documentboundary". Webkit and Blink do.

Note: Starting in Gecko 5.0, the "word" granularity no longer includes the following space, regardless of the default platform behavior. This makes the behavior more consistent, as well as making it work the same way WebKit used to work, but unfortunately they have recently changed their behavior.


To extend the current text selection to include the next word:

var selection = window.getSelection();
selection.modify("extend", "forward", "word");


This method is not part of any specification.

Browser compatibility

FeatureChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafari
Basic support Yes ?4 ? Yes Yes
node parameter is nullable Yes ?55 ? Yes Yes
offset parameter is optional Yes ?55 ? Yes Yes
FeatureAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge mobileFirefox for AndroidOpera AndroidiOS SafariSamsung Internet
Basic support Yes Yes ?4 Yes Yes ?
node parameter is nullable ? Yes ?55 Yes Yes ?
offset parameter is optional ? Yes ?55 Yes Yes ?

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

Last updated by: ddbeck,