Javascript – How to get the body’s content of an iframe in Javascript


<iframe id="id_description_iframe" class="rte-zone" height="200" frameborder="0" title="description">
    <body class="frameBody">

What I want to get is:


Best Solution

The exact question is how to do it with pure JavaScript not with jQuery.

But I always use the solution that can be found in jQuery's source code. It's just one line of native JavaScript.

For me it's the best, easy readable and even afaik the shortest way to get the iframes content.

First get your iframe

var iframe = document.getElementById('id_description_iframe');

// or
var iframe = document.querySelector('#id_description_iframe');

And then use jQuery's solution

var iframeDocument = iframe.contentDocument || iframe.contentWindow.document;

It works even in the Internet Explorer which does this trick during the contentWindow property of the iframe object. Most other browsers uses the contentDocument property and that is the reason why we proof this property first in this OR condition. If it is not set try contentWindow.document.

Select elements in iframe

Then you can usually use getElementById() or even querySelectorAll() to select the DOM-Element from the iframeDocument:

if (!iframeDocument) {
    throw "iframe couldn't be found in DOM.";

var iframeContent = iframeDocument.getElementById('frameBody');

// or
var iframeContent = iframeDocument.querySelectorAll('#frameBody');

Call functions in the iframe

Get just the window element from iframe to call some global functions, variables or whole libraries (e.g. jQuery):

var iframeWindow = iframe.contentWindow;

// you can even call jQuery or other frameworks
// if it is loaded inside the iframe
iframeContent = iframeWindow.jQuery('#frameBody');

// or
iframeContent = iframeWindow.$('#frameBody');

// or even use any other global variable
iframeWindow.myVar = window.myVar;

// or call a global function
var myVar = iframeWindow.myFunction(param1 /*, ... */);


All this is possible if you observe the same-origin policy.