Pat Pat - 1 year ago 69
jQuery Question

How do I get the (x, y) pixel coordinates of the caret in text boxes?

I am using jQuery and trying to find a cross browser way to get the pixel coordinates of the caret in

s and
boxes such that I can place an absolutely positioned div around this location.

Is there some jQuery plugin? Or JavaScript snippet to do just that?

Answer Source

I've looked for a textarea caret coordinates plugin for meteor-autocomplete, so I've evaluated all the 8 plugins on GitHub. The winner is, by far, textarea-caret-position from Component.


  • pixel precision
  • no dependencies whatsoever
  • browser compatibility: Chrome, Safari, Firefox (despite two bugs it has), IE9+; may work but not tested in Opera, IE8 or older
  • supports any font family and size, as well as text-transforms
  • the text area can have arbitrary padding or borders
  • not confused by horizontal or vertical scrollbars in the textarea
  • supports hard returns, tabs (except on IE) and consecutive spaces in the text
  • correct position on lines longer than the columns in the text area
  • no "ghost" position in the empty space at the end of a line when wrapping long words

Here's a demo -

enter image description here

How it works

A mirror <div> is created off-screen and styled exactly like the <textarea>. Then, the text of the textarea up to the caret is copied into the div and a <span> is inserted right after it. Then, the text content of the span is set to the remainder of the text in the textarea, in order to faithfully reproduce the wrapping in the faux div.

This is the only method guaranteed to handle all the edge cases pertaining to wrapping long lines. It's also used by GitHub to determine the position of its @ user dropdown.