Javascript – How to get the cursor position in a textarea


I have a textarea and I would like to know if I am on the last line in the textarea or the first line in the textarea with my cursor with JavaScript.

I thought of grabbing the position of the first newline character and the last newline character and then grabbing the position of the cursor.

var firstNewline = $('#myTextarea').val().indexOf('\n');
var lastNewline = $('#myTextarea').val().lastIndexOf('\n');

var cursorPosition = ?????;

if (cursorPosition < firstNewline)
    // I am on first line.
else if (cursorPosition > lastNewline)
    // I am on last line.
  • Is it possible to grab the cursor position within the textarea?
  • Do you have a better suggestion for finding out if I am on the first or last line of a textarea?

jQuery solutions preferred unless JavaScript is as simple or simpler.

Best Solution

If there is no selection, you can use the properties .selectionStart or .selectionEnd (with no selection they're equal).

var cursorPosition = $('#myTextarea').prop("selectionStart");

Note that this is not supported in older browsers, most notably IE8-. There you'll have to work with text ranges, but it's a complete frustration.

I believe there is a library somewhere which is dedicated to getting and setting selections/cursor positions in input elements, though. I can't recall its name, but there seem to be dozens on articles about this subject.