In this article, we will explore the various methods for getting a selected text from a textbox using JavaScript. We will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each approach, as well as provide code examples to help you implement these techniques in your own projects.

Method 1: Getting a Reference to the Textbox Element

Step 1: Getting a Reference to the Textbox Element

The first step to getting selected text from a textbox is to get a reference to the textbox element in your HTML document. This can be done using the getElementById method in JavaScript. For example, if your textbox has an ID of “myTextBox”, you can get a reference to it as follows:

					var textBox = document.getElementById("myTextBox");


Step 2: Getting the Selected Text

Once you have a reference to the textbox element, you can get the selected text using the selectionStart and selectionEnd properties. These properties represent the start and end positions of the selected text, respectively. You can then use these values to extract the selected text from the textbox’s value property. Here is perfect example:

					var selectedText = textBox.value.substring(textBox.selectionStart, textBox.selectionEnd);


Step 3: Using the Selected Text

Now that you have the selected text, you can use it however you like. For example, you can display it in a message box or copy it to the clipboard using the Clipboard API. Here’s an example of how to display the selected text in a message box:

					alert("Selected text: " + selectedText);


Method 2: Using the Selection API

The Selection API is a built-in JavaScript interface that allows developers to interact with the user’s text selection. In addition, this API provides a convenient way to retrieve the selected text from a textbox.

To use the Selection API, you must first obtain the selection object by calling the window.getSelection() method. Once you have the selection object, you can retrieve the text from the toString() method.

Here is an example of how to use the Selection API to get the selected text from a textbox:

					var textbox = document.getElementById("myTextBox");
var selection = window.getSelection();
var selectedText = selection.toString();


One of the main advantages of using the Selection API is that it is built into the browser and requires no additional libraries or frameworks. However, it is important to note that the Selection API is not supported in all browsers, particularly older versions of Internet Explorer. 

Method 3: Using a Custom Function

Finally, you can create a custom function to get the selected text from a textbox. This approach can be helpful if you need to perform additional validation or processing on the selected text.

Here is an example of a custom function in Javascript for getting the selected text from a textbox:

					function getSelectedText(textbox) {
  var selectedText = "";
  if (textbox.selectionStart !== undefined) {
    selectedText = textbox.value.substring(textbox.selectionStart, textbox.selectionEnd);
  } else if (document.selection) {
    var range = document.selection.createRange();
    if (range.parentElement() === textbox) {
      selectedText = range.text;
  return selectedText;

var textbox = document.getElementById("myTextBox");
var selectedText = getSelectedText(textbox);


This method provides the most flexibility and allows you to customize the behavior of the selected text retrieval process. However, it can also be the most complex to implement.

We have explored three different methods for getting selected text from a textbox using JavaScript. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the best approach for your project will depend on your specific needs and requirements.

By using one of these methods, you can enhance the functionality and interactivity of your website, and provide a better user experience for your visitors.

Thanks for reading. Happy coding!