Converting HTML string into DOM elements? [duplicate]


Is there a way to convert HTML like:

<div>
<a href="#"></a>
<span></span>
</div>

or any other HTML string into DOM element? (So that I could use appendChild()). I know that I can do .innerHTML and .innerText, but that is not what I want -- I literally want to be capable of converting a dynamic HTML string into a DOM element so that I could pass it in a .appendChild().

Update: There seems to be confusion. I have the HTML contents in a string, as a value of a variable in JavaScript. There is no HTML content in the document.

You can use a DOMParser, like so:

var xmlString = "<div id='foo'><a href='#'>Link</a><span></span></div>";
var doc = new DOMParser().parseFromString(xmlString, "text/xml");
console.log(doc.firstChild.innerHTML); // => <a href="#">Link...
console.log(doc.firstChild.firstChild.innerHTML); // => Link


You typically create a temporary parent element to which you can write the innerHTML, then extract the contents:

var wrapper= document.createElement('div');
wrapper.innerHTML= '<div><a href="#"></a><span></span></div>';
var div= wrapper.firstChild;

If the element whose outer-HTML you've got is a simple <div> as here, this is easy. If it might be something else that can't go just anywhere, you might have more problems. For example if it were a <li>, you'd have to have the parent wrapper be a <ul>.

But IE can't write innerHTML on elements like <tr> so if you had a <td> you'd have to wrap the whole HTML string in <table><tbody><tr>...</tr></tbody></table>, write that to innerHTML and extricate the actual <td> you wanted from a couple of levels down.


Why not use insertAdjacentHTML

for example:

// <div id="one">one</div> 
var d1 = document.getElementById('one'); 
d1.insertAdjacentHTML('afterend', '<div id="two">two</div>');

// At this point, the new structure is:
// <div id="one">one</div><div id="two">two</div>here

Check out John Resig's pure JavaScript HTML parser.

EDIT: if you want the browser to parse the HTML for you, innerHTML is exactly what you want. From this SO question:

var tempDiv = document.createElement('div');
tempDiv.innerHTML = htmlString;

Okay, I realized the answer myself, after I had to think about other people's answers. :P

var htmlContent = ... // a response via AJAX containing HTML
var e = document.createElement('div');
e.setAttribute('style', 'display: none;');
e.innerHTML = htmlContent;
document.body.appendChild(e);
var htmlConvertedIntoDom = e.lastChild.childNodes; // the HTML converted into a DOM element :), now let's remove the
document.body.removeChild(e);

Here is a little code that is useful.

var uiHelper = function () {

var htmls = {};

var getHTML = function (url) {
                /// <summary>Returns HTML in a string format</summary>
                /// <param name="url" type="string">The url to the file with the HTML</param>

    if (!htmls[url])
    {
    var xmlhttp = new XMLHttpRequest();
    xmlhttp.open("GET", url, false);
    xmlhttp.send();
    htmls[url] = xmlhttp.responseText;
     };
     return htmls[url];
    };

        return {
            getHTML: getHTML
        };
}();

--Convert the HTML string into a DOM Element

String.prototype.toDomElement = function () {

        var wrapper = document.createElement('div');
        wrapper.innerHTML = this;
        var df= document.createDocumentFragment();
        return df.addChilds(wrapper.children);
};

--prototype helper

HTMLElement.prototype.addChilds = function (newChilds) {
        /// <summary>Add an array of child elements</summary>
        /// <param name="newChilds" type="Array">Array of HTMLElements to add to this HTMLElement</param>
        /// <returns type="this" />
        for (var i = 0; i < newChilds.length; i += 1) { this.appendChild(newChilds[i]); };
        return this;
};

--Usage

 thatHTML = uiHelper.getHTML('/Scripts/elevation/ui/add/html/add.txt').toDomElement();

Just give an id to the element and process it normally eg:

<div id="dv">
<a href="#"></a>
<span></span>
</div>

Now you can do like:

var div = document.getElementById('dv');
div.appendChild(......);

Or with jQuery:

$('#dv').get(0).appendChild(........);

You can do it like this:

String.prototype.toDOM=function(){
  var d=document
     ,i
     ,a=d.createElement("div")
     ,b=d.createDocumentFragment();
  a.innerHTML=this;
  while(i=a.firstChild)b.appendChild(i);
  return b;
};

var foo="<img src='//placekitten.com/100/100'>foo<i>bar</i>".toDOM();
document.body.appendChild(foo);