Change the Text of a Heading element using JavaScript

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Borislav Hadzhiev

Tue Jan 04 20222 min read

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Photo by Mike Kotsch

Change the Text of a Heading element using JavaScript #

Use the textContent property to change the text of a heading element, e.g. heading.textContent = 'Replacement heading text'. The textContent property will set the text of the heading to the provided string, replacing any of the existing content.

Here is the HTML for the examples in this article.

index.html
<!DOCTYPE html> <html lang="en"> <head> <meta charset="UTF-8" /> </head> <body> <h1 id="heading">Initial heading text</h1> <script src="index.js"></script> </body> </html>

And here is the related JavaScript code.

index.js
const heading = document.getElementById('heading'); // โœ… Change (replace) the text of the element heading.textContent = 'Replacement heading text'; // โœ… Change (replace) the content with HTML heading.innerHTML = `<span style="background-color: yellow">Replacement HTML</span>`; // โœ… Append / Prepend text to the element heading.insertAdjacentText('beforeend', ' appended text'); // โœ… Append / Prepend HTML to the element heading.insertAdjacentHTML( 'beforeend', `<span style="background-color: lime"> appended HTML</code>`, );

We used the textContent property on the h1 element to change its text content.

The textContent property can also be used to read the text content of the element and its descendants.

Setting textContent on an element, removes all of the element's children and replaces them with a single text node with the provided string.

If you need to completely replace the HTML content of the heading, use the innerHTML property.

index.js
const heading = document.getElementById('heading'); // โœ… Change (replace) the content with HTML heading.innerHTML = `<span style="background-color: yellow">Replacement HTML</span>`;

The innerHTML property gets or sets the HTML contained within the element.

By setting the property on an element, you effectively replace the HTML previously contained in the h1 element.

You shouldn't use user generated data without escaping it when setting the HTML of an element, because it would leave your application vulnerable to XSS attacks.

If you need to append / prepend text to the existing content of the h1 element, use the insertAdjacentText method instead.

index.js
const heading = document.getElementById('heading'); // โœ… Append / Prepend text to the element heading.insertAdjacentText('beforeend', ' appended text');

The insertAdjacentText method takes the following 2 parameters:

  1. position - the position relative to the element of where the text should be inserted. Can be one of the following 4:
  • beforebegin - before the element itself.
  • afterbegin - just inside the element, before its first child.
  • beforeend - just inside the element, after its last child.
  • afterend - after the element itself.
  1. data - the string from which to create a new text node to insert at the given position.
In the example, we inserted text just inside the h1 element, before its last child, but you can change the value of the position parameter depending on your use case.

If you need to insert HTML to the heading, use the insertAdjacentHTML method.

index.js
const heading = document.getElementById('heading'); // โœ… Append / Prepend HTML to the element heading.insertAdjacentHTML( 'beforeend', `<span style="background-color: lime"> appended HTML</code>`, );

The first parameter the insertAdjacentHTML method takes is the same as insertAdjacentText - the position at which the HTML should be inserted.

The second parameter is an HTML string containing the content you want to insert.

Note that this method shouldn't be used with user provided data without it being escaped, as it would leave you open to cross-site scripting attacks.

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