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A Node is an interface from which a number of DOM types inherit, and allows these various types to be treated (or tested) similarly.

The following interfaces all inherit from Node its methods and properties: Document, Element, CharacterData (which Text, Comment, and CDATASection inherit), ProcessingInstruction, DocumentFragment, DocumentType, Notation, Entity, EntityReference

These interfaces may return null in particular cases where the methods and properties are not relevant. They may throw an exception - for example when adding children to a node type for which no children can exist.


Inherits properties from its parents EventTarget.[1]

Node.baseURI Read only
Returns a DOMString representing the base URL. The concept of base URL changes from one language to another; in HTML, it corresponds to the protocol, the domain name and the directory structure, that is all until the last '/'.
(Not available to web content.) The read-only nsIURI object representing the base URI for the element.
Node.childNodes Read only
Returns a live NodeList containing all the children of this node. NodeList being live means that if the children of the Node change, the NodeList object is automatically updated.
Node.firstChild Read only
Returns a Node representing the first direct child node of the node, or null if the node has no child.
Node.lastChild Read only
Returns a Node representing the last direct child node of the node, or null if the node has no child.
Node.localName Read only
Returns a DOMString representing the local part of the qualified name of an element.

Note: In Firefox 3.5 and earlier, the property upper-cases the local name for HTML elements (but not XHTML elements). In later versions, this does not happen, so the property is in lower case for both HTML and XHTML.

Node.namespaceURI Read only
The namespace URI of this node, or null if it is no namespace.

Note: In Firefox 3.5 and earlier, HTML elements are in no namespace. In later versions, HTML elements are in the https://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml/ namespace in both HTML and XML trees.

Node.nextSibling Read only
Returns a Node representing the next node in the tree, or null if there isn't such node.
Node.nodeName Read only
Returns a DOMString containing the name of the Node. The structure of the name will differ with the name type. E.g. An HTMLElement will contain the name of the corresponding tag, like 'audio' for an HTMLAudioElement, a Text node will have the '#text' string, or a Document node will have the '#document' string.
A nsIPrincipal representing the node principal.
Node.nodeTypeRead only
Returns an unsigned short representing the type of the node. Possible values are:
Name Value
Returns / Sets the value of the current node
Node.ownerDocument Read only
Returns the Document that this node belongs to. If no document is associated with it, returns null.
Node.parentNode Read only
Returns a Node that is the parent of this node. If there is no such node, like if this node is the top of the tree or if doesn't participate in a tree, this property returns null.
Node.parentElement Read only
Returns an Element that is the parent of this node. If the node has no parent, or if that parent is not an Element, this property returns null.
Node.prefix Read only
Is a DOMString representing the namespace prefix of the node, or null if no prefix is specified.
Node.previousSibling Read only
Returns a Node representing the previous node in the tree, or null if there isn't such node.
Node.rootNode Read only
Returns a Node object representing the topmost node in the tree, or the current node if it's the topmost node in the tree. This is found by walking backward along Node.parentNode until the top is reached.
Returns / Sets the textual content of an element and all its descendants.


Inherits methods from its parent, EventTarget.[1]

Adds the specified childNode argument as the last child to the current node.
If the argument referenced an existing node on the DOM tree, the node will be detached from its current position and attached at the new position.
Clone a Node, and optionally, all of its contents. By default, it clones the content of the node.
Returns the context objects root which optionally includes the shadow root if it is available. 
Allows a user to get some DOMUserData from the node.
Returns a Boolean indicating if the element has any attributes, or not.
Returns a Boolean indicating if the element has any child nodes, or not.
Inserts the first Node given in a parameter immediately before the second, child of this element, Node.
Returns a Boolean which indicates whether or not two nodes are of the same type and all their defining data points match.
Returns a Boolean value indicating whether or not the two nodes are the same (that is, they reference the same object).
Returns a Boolean flag containing the result of a test whether the DOM implementation implements a specific feature and this feature is supported by the specific node.
Clean up all the text nodes under this element (merge adjacent, remove empty).
Removes a child node from the current element, which must be a child of the current node.
Replaces one child Node of the current one with the second one given in parameter.
Allows a user to attach, or remove, DOMUserData to the node.


Browse all child nodes

The following function recursively cycles all child nodes of a node and executes a callback function upon them (and upon the parent node itself).

function DOMComb (oParent, oCallback) {
  if (oParent.hasChildNodes()) {
    for (var oNode = oParent.firstChild; oNode; oNode = oNode.nextSibling) {
      DOMComb(oNode, oCallback);


DOMComb(parentNode, callbackFunction);


Recursively cycle all child nodes of parentNode and parentNode itself and execute the callbackFunction upon them as this objects.


The parent node (Node Object).
The callback function (Function).

Sample usage

The following example send to the console.log the text content of the body:

function printContent () {
  if (this.nodeValue) { console.log(this.nodeValue); }

onload = function () {
  DOMComb(document.body, printContent);

Remove all children nested within a node

Element.prototype.removeAll = function () {
  while (this.firstChild) { this.removeChild(this.firstChild); }
  return this;

Sample usage

/* ... an alternative to document.body.innerHTML = "" ... */


Specification Status Comment
The definition of 'Node' in that specification.
Living Standard Removed the following properties: attributes, namespaceURI, prefix, and localName.
Removed the following methods: isSupported(), hasAttributes(), getFeature(), setUserData(), and getUserData().
Document Object Model (DOM) Level 3 Core Specification
The definition of 'Node' in that specification.
Obsolete The methods insertBefore(), replaceChild(), removeChild(), and appendChild() returns one more kind of error (NOT_SUPPORTED_ERR) if called on a Document.
The normalize() method has been modified so that Text node can also be normalized if the proper DOMConfiguration flag is set.
Added the following methods: compareDocumentPosition(), isSameNode(), lookupPrefix(), isDefaultNamespace(), lookupNamespaceURI(), isEqualNode(), getFeature(), setUserData(), and getUserData().
Added the following properties: baseURI and textContent.
Document Object Model (DOM) Level 2 Core Specification
The definition of 'Node' in that specification.
Obsolete The ownerDocument property was slightly modified so that DocumentFragment also returns null.
Added the following properties: namespaceURI, prefix, and localName.
Added the following methods: normalize(), isSupported() and hasAttributes().
Document Object Model (DOM) Level 1 Specification
The definition of 'Node' in that specification.
Obsolete Initial definition

Browser compatibility

We're converting our compatibility data into a machine-readable JSON format. This compatibility table still uses the old format, because we haven't yet converted the data it contains. Find out how you can help!

No support22.0 (22.0)
Feature Chrome Edge Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support (Yes)[1] (Yes) 1.0 (1.7 or earlier) (Yes) (Yes)[1] (Yes)[1]
getFeature() No support ? 1.0 (1.7 or earlier)
No support7.0 (7.0)
? No support No support
getUserData(), setUserData() and hasAttributes() No support ? 1.0 (1.7 or earlier)
No support22.0 (22.0)
? No support No support
isSameNode() (Yes) ? 1.0 (1.7 or earlier)
Removed in 10 (10)
Returned in 48 (48)
? No support No support
isSupported() No support ? 1.0 (1.7 or earlier)
? ? ? ?
attributes No support ? 1.0 (1.7 or earlier)
No support22.0 (22.0)[2]
No support No support No support
rootNode() ? ? CompatGeckoDesktop(48)}} ? ? ?
namespaceURI, localName, prefix (Yes)
No support46.0[3]
? (Yes)
No support48.0[3]
? ? ?
getRootNode 54.0 ? ? ? 41 ?
Feature Android Android Webview Edge Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile Chrome for Android
Basic support ? (Yes)[1] (Yes) 1.0 (1.0) (Yes) (Yes)[1] (Yes)[1] (Yes)[1]
getFeature() No support No support ? 1.0 (1.0)
No support7.0 (7.0)
? No support No support No support
getUserData(), setUserData() and hasAttributes() No support No support ? ? ? ? ? No support
isSameNode() ? (Yes) ?

1.0 (1.7 or earlier)
Removed in 10 (10)
Returned in 48 (48)

? ? ? (Yes)
isSupported() ? No support ? ? ? ? ? No support
attributes ? No support ? ? ? ? ? No support
rootNode() ? No support ? 48.0 (48) ? ? ? No support
namespaceURI, localName, prefix ? No support ? (Yes)
No support48.0[3]
? ? ? No support
getRootNode() No support 54.0 ? ? ? 41 ? 54.0

[1] WebKit and old versions of Blink incorrectly do not make Node inherit from EventTarget.

[2] In Gecko 22.0 (Firefox 22.0 / Thunderbird 22.0 / SeaMonkey 2.19) the attributes property was moved to Element.

[3] The properties were moved to the Element and Attr APIs according to the DOM4 standard.

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