How to get the body's content of an iframe in Javascript?

<iframe id="id_description_iframe" class="rte-zone" height="200" frameborder="0" title="description">
    <body class="frameBody">

What I want to get is:


The exact question is how to do it with pure JavaScript not with jQuery.

But I always use the solution that can be found in jQuery's source code. It's just one line of native JavaScript.

For me it's the best, easy readable and even afaik the shortest way to get the iframes content.

First get your iframe

var iframe = document.getElementById('id_description_iframe');

// or
var iframe = document.querySelector('#id_description_iframe');

And then use jQuery's solution

var iframeDocument = iframe.contentDocument || iframe.contentWindow.document;

It works even in the Internet Explorer which does this trick during the contentWindow property of the iframe object. Most other browsers uses the contentDocument property and that is the reason why we proof this property first in this OR condition. If it is not set try contentWindow.document.

Select elements in iframe

Then you can usually use getElementById() or even querySelectorAll() to select the DOM-Element from the iframeDocument:

if (!iframeDocument) {
    throw "iframe couldn't be found in DOM.";

var iframeContent = iframeDocument.getElementById('frameBody');

// or
var iframeContent = iframeDocument.querySelectorAll('#frameBody');

Call functions in the iframe

Get just the window element from iframe to call some global functions, variables or whole libraries (e.g. jQuery):

var iframeWindow = iframe.contentWindow;

// you can even call jQuery or other frameworks
// if it is loaded inside the iframe
iframeContent = iframeWindow.jQuery('#frameBody');

// or
iframeContent = iframeWindow.$('#frameBody');

// or even use any other global variable
iframeWindow.myVar = window.myVar;

// or call a global function
var myVar = iframeWindow.myFunction(param1 /*, ... */);


All this is possible if you observe the same-origin policy.

Using JQuery, try this:


it works perfectly for me :


AFAIK, an Iframe cannot be used that way. You need to point its src attribute to another page.

Here's how to get its body content using plane old javascript. This works with both IE and Firefox.

function getFrameContents(){
   var iFrame =  document.getElementById('id_description_iframe');
   var iFrameBody;
   if ( iFrame.contentDocument ) 
   { // FF
     iFrameBody = iFrame.contentDocument.getElementsByTagName('body')[0];
   else if ( iFrame.contentWindow ) 
   { // IE
     iFrameBody = iFrame.contentWindow.document.getElementsByTagName('body')[0];

use content in iframe with JS:


I think placing text inbetween the tags is reserved for browsers that cant handle iframes i.e...

<iframe src ="html_intro.asp" width="100%" height="300">
  <p>Your browser does not support iframes.</p>

You use the 'src' attribute to set the source of the iframes html...

Hope that helps :)

The following code is cross-browser compliant. It works in IE7, IE8, Fx 3, Safari, and Chrome, so no need to handle cross-browser issues. Did not test in IE6.

<iframe id="iframeId" name="iframeId">...</iframe>

<script type="text/javascript">
    var iframeDoc;
    if (window.frames && window.frames.iframeId &&
        (iframeDoc = window.frames.iframeId.document)) {
        var iframeBody = iframeDoc.body;
        var ifromContent = iframeBody.innerHTML;

Chalkey is correct, you need to use the src attribute to specify the page to be contained in the iframe. Providing you do this, and the document in the iframe is in the same domain as the parent document, you can use this:

var e = document.getElementById("id_description_iframe");
if(e != null) {

Obviously you can then do something useful with the contents instead of just putting them in an alert.

To get body content from javascript ,i have tried the following code:

****var frameObj = document.getElementById('id_description_iframe');**

**var frameContent = frameObj.contentWindow.document.body.innerHTML;****

where "id_description_iframe" is your iframe's id. This code is working fine for me.