Tyler Tyler - 6 months ago 66x
HTML Question

Is there a way to make text unselectable on an HTML page?

I'm building an HTML UI with some text elements, such as tab names, which look bad when selected. Unfortunately, it's very easy for a user to double-click a tab name, which selects it by default in many browsers.

I might be able to solve this with a JavaScript trick (I'd like to see those answers, too) -- but I'm really hoping there's something in CSS/HTML directly that works across all browsers.


In most browsers, this can be achieved using CSS:

*.unselectable {
   -moz-user-select: -moz-none;
   -khtml-user-select: none;
   -webkit-user-select: none;

     Introduced in IE 10.
     See http://ie.microsoft.com/testdrive/HTML5/msUserSelect/
   -ms-user-select: none;
   user-select: none;

For IE < 10 and Opera, you will need to use the unselectable attribute of the element you wish to be unselectable. You can set this using an attribute in HTML:

<div id="foo" unselectable="on" class="unselectable">...</div>

Sadly this property isn't inherited, meaning you have to put an attribute in the start tag of every element inside the <div>. If this is a problem, you could instead use JavaScript to do this recursively for an element's descendants:

function makeUnselectable(node) {
    if (node.nodeType == 1) {
        node.setAttribute("unselectable", "on");
    var child = node.firstChild;
    while (child) {
        child = child.nextSibling;