This is an experimental technology
Because this technology's specification has not stabilized, check the compatibility table for the proper prefixes to use in various browsers. Also note that the syntax and behavior of an experimental technology is subject to change in future versions of browsers as the spec changes.

This method is used to retrieve the caret position in a document based on two coordinates. A CaretPosition is returned, containing the found DOM node and the character offset in that node.


var caretPosition = document.caretPositionFromPoint(float x, float y);


One of the following:

  • A CaretPosition.
  • Null, if x or y are negative, outside viewport, or there is no text entry node.


A horizontal position within the current viewport.
A vertical position within the current viewport.


This example inserts line breaks wherever you click. The code for it is below the demo.  


HTML Content

<p>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr,
sed diam nonumy eirmod tempor invidunt ut labore et dolore magna aliquyam erat,
sed diam voluptua. At vero eos et accusam et justo duo dolores et ea rebum.
Stet clita kasd gubergren, no sea takimata sanctus est Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.</p>

JavaScript Content

function insertBreakAtPoint(e) {

    var range;
    var textNode;
    var offset;

    if (document.caretPositionFromPoint) {
        range = document.caretPositionFromPoint(e.clientX, e.clientY);
        textNode = range.offsetNode;
        offset = range.offset;
    } else if (document.caretRangeFromPoint) {
        range = document.caretRangeFromPoint(e.clientX, e.clientY);
        textNode = range.startContainer;
        offset = range.startOffset;

    // only split TEXT_NODEs
    if (textNode.nodeType == 3) {
        var replacement = textNode.splitText(offset);
        var br = document.createElement('br');
        textNode.parentNode.insertBefore(br, replacement);

var paragraphs = document.getElementsByTagName("p");
for (i=0 ; i < paragraphs.length; i++) {
    paragraphs[i].addEventListener("click", insertBreakAtPoint, false);


Specification Status Comment
CSS Object Model (CSSOM) View Module
The definition of 'caretPositionFromPoint' in that specification.
Working Draft  

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Firefox Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support Not supported
See below
20.0 (20.0) Not supported Not supported Not supported
See below.
Feature Android Firefox Mobile IE Phone Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support Not supported 20.0 (20.0)
Not supported Not supported Not supported

Gecko-specific notes

WebKit-specific notes

  • WebKit (Safari 5, Chrome) implements document.caretRangeFromPoint(x,y) from an older W3C draft. Also, note that a Range is returned.

Trident-specific notes

  • For MS Internet Explorer the proprietary method TextRange.moveToPoint(x,y) might be helpful.

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

Contributors to this page: jpmedley, teoli, Nmaier, kscarfone, Cobra, Sheppy, fscholz
Last updated by: jpmedley,
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