Detect all changes to a <input type=“text”> (immediately) using JQuery


There are many ways the value of a <input type="text"> can change, including:

  • keypresses
  • copy/paste
  • modified with JavaScript
  • auto-completed by browser or a toolbar

I want my JavaScript function to be called (with the current input value) any time it changes. And I want it to be called right away, not just when the input loses focus.

I'm looking for the cleanest and most robust way to do this across all browsers (using jQuery preferably).

Example use case: On the Twitter Signup page, the username field's value gets shown in the url "http://twitter/username" below it.

This jQuery code catches immediate changes to any element, and should work across all browsers:

 $('.myElements').each(function() {
   var elem = $(this);

   // Save current value of element
   elem.data('oldVal', elem.val());

   // Look for changes in the value
   elem.bind("propertychange change click keyup input paste", function(event){
      // If value has changed...
      if (elem.data('oldVal') != elem.val()) {
       // Updated stored value
       elem.data('oldVal', elem.val());

       // Do action
       ....
     }
   });
 });

A real-time fancy solution for jQuery >= 1.9

$("#input-id").on("change keyup paste", function(){
    dosomething();
})

if you also want to detect "click" event, just:

$("#input-id").on("change keyup paste click", function(){
    dosomething();
})

if you're using jQuery <= 1.4, just use live instead of on.


Unfortunately, I think setInterval wins the prize:

<input type=text id=input_id />
<script>
setInterval(function() { ObserveInputValue($('#input_id').val()); }, 100);
</script>

It's the cleanest solution, at only 1 line of code. It's also the most robust, since you don't have to worry about all the different events/ways an input can get a value.

The downsides of using 'setInterval' don't seem to apply in this case:

  • The 100ms latency? For many applications, 100ms is fast enough.
  • Added load on the browser? In general, adding lots of heavy-weight setIntervals on your page is bad. But in this particular case, the added page load is undetectable.
  • It doesn't scale to many inputs? Most pages don't have more than a handful of inputs, which you can sniff all in the same setInterval.

Binding to the oninput event seems to work fine in most sane browsers. IE9 supports it too, but the implementation is buggy (the event is not fired when deleting characters).

With jQuery version 1.7+ the on method is useful to bind to the event like this:

$(".inputElement").on("input", null, null, callbackFunction);

2017 answer: the input event does exactly this for anything more recent than IE8.

$(el).on('input', callback)

Unfortunately there is no event or set of events that matches your criteria. Keypresses and copy/paste can both be handled with the keyup event. Changes through JS are trickier. If you have control over the code that sets the textbox, your best bet is to modify it to either call your function directly or trigger a user event on the textbox:

// Compare the textbox's current and last value.  Report a change to the console.
function watchTextbox() {
  var txtInput = $('#txtInput');
  var lastValue = txtInput.data('lastValue');
  var currentValue = txtInput.val();
  if (lastValue != currentValue) {
    console.log('Value changed from ' + lastValue + ' to ' + currentValue);
    txtInput.data('lastValue', currentValue);
  }
}

// Record the initial value of the textbox.
$('#txtInput').data('lastValue', $('#txtInput').val());

// Bind to the keypress and user-defined set event.
$('#txtInput').bind('keypress set', null, watchTextbox);

// Example of JS code triggering the user event
$('#btnSetText').click(function (ev) {
  $('#txtInput').val('abc def').trigger('set');
});

If you don't have control over that code, you could use setInterval() to 'watch' the textbox for changes:

// Check the textbox every 100 milliseconds.  This seems to be pretty responsive.
setInterval(watchTextbox, 100);

This sort of active monitoring won't catch updates 'immediately', but it seems to be fast enough that there is no perceptible lag. As DrLouie pointed out in comments, this solution probably doesn't scale well if you need to watch lots of inputs. You can always adjust the 2nd parameter to setInterval() to check more or less frequently.


Here is a slightly different solution if you didn't fancy any of the other answers:

var field_selectors = ["#a", "#b"];
setInterval(function() { 
  $.each(field_selectors, function() { 
    var input = $(this);
    var old = input.attr("data-old-value");
    var current = input.val();
    if (old !== current) { 
      if (typeof old != 'undefined') { 
        ... your code ...
      }
      input.attr("data-old-value", current);
    }   
  }   
}, 500);

Consider that you cannot rely on click and keyup to capture context menu paste.


Add this code somewhere, this will do the trick.

var originalVal = $.fn.val;
$.fn.val = function(){
    var result =originalVal.apply(this,arguments);
    if(arguments.length>0)
        $(this).change(); // OR with custom event $(this).trigger('value-changed');
    return result;
};

Found this solution at val() doesn't trigger change() in jQuery


I have created a sample. May it will work for you.

var typingTimer;
var doneTypingInterval = 10;
var finaldoneTypingInterval = 500;

var oldData = $("p.content").html();
$('#tyingBox').keydown(function () {
    clearTimeout(typingTimer);
    if ($('#tyingBox').val) {
        typingTimer = setTimeout(function () {
            $("p.content").html('Typing...');
        }, doneTypingInterval);
    }
});

$('#tyingBox').keyup(function () {
    clearTimeout(typingTimer);
    typingTimer = setTimeout(function () {
        $("p.content").html(oldData);
    }, finaldoneTypingInterval);
});


<script src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.9.1/jquery.min.js"></script>


<textarea id="tyingBox" tabindex="1" placeholder="Enter Message"></textarea>
<p class="content">Text will be replace here and after Stop typing it will get back</p>

http://jsfiddle.net/utbh575s/


We actually don't need to setup loops for detecting javaScript changes. We already setting up many event listeners to the element we want to detect. just triggering any un harmful event will make the job.

$("input[name='test-element']").on("propertychange change click keyup input paste blur", function(){
console.log("yeh thats worked!");
});

$("input[name='test-element']").val("test").trigger("blur");

and ofc this is only available if you have the full control on javascript changes on your project.


Well, best way is to cover those three bases you listed by yourself. A simple :onblur, :onkeyup, etc won't work for what you want, so just combine them.

KeyUp should cover the first two, and if Javascript is modifying the input box, well I sure hope it's your own javascript, so just add a callback in the function that modifies it.


Here's a working example that I'm using to implement an autocomplete variation the populates a jqueryui selector (list), but I don't want it to function exactly like the jqueryui autocomplete which does a drop-down menu.

$("#tagFilter").on("change keyup paste", function() {
     var filterText = $("#tagFilter").val();
    $("#tags").empty();
    $.getJSON("http://localhost/cgi-bin/tags.php?term=" + filterText,
        function(data) {
            var i;
            for (i = 0; i < data.length; i++) {
                var tag = data[i].value;
                $("#tags").append("<li class=\"tag\">" + tag + "</li>");
            }
        }); 
});

Can't you just use <span contenteditable="true" spellcheck="false"> element in place of <input type="text">?

<span> (with contenteditable="true" spellcheck="false" as attributes) distincts by <input> mainly because:

  • It's not styled like an <input>.
  • It doesn't have a value property, but the text is rendered as innerText and makes part of its inner body.
  • It's multiline whereas <input> isn't although you set the attribute multiline="true".

To accomplish the appearance you can, of course, style it in CSS, whereas writing the value as innerText you can get for it an event:

Here's a fiddle.

Unfortunately there's something that doesn't actually work in IE and Edge, which I'm unable to find.


Listen, I know this question is quite old, but for any Future viewers in 2019 or later, theres not even a need for JS with this. NO JQUERY! (Its kindof obsolete in todays world)

Sadly this solution will actually only have 1 fault: if your detecting for a change in characters like this snippet below, if you have the special character at the front, and remove everything in the input, it will still detect it as non-ascii. Try placing the character again but at the front this time, and slowly backspace from the end of the text.

Theres a perfect solution in HTML:

(Detects Pasting, Typing, Backspacing, and other such changes INSTANTLY)

function test() {
 var a = document.getElementById('testInput');
 var b = document.getElementById('output');
 var c = /^[ -~]+$/;
 if (!c.test(a.value)) {
  b.innerText = "Text is Ascii? : false";
 } else {
  b.innerText = "Text is Ascii? : true";
 }
}
Try pressing Alt+NumPad2+NumPad3 in the input, it will instantly detect a change, whether you Paste, Type, or any other means, rather than waiting for you to unselect the textbox for changes to detect.

<input type="text" id="testInput" onchange="test()" onkeypress="this.onchange();" onpaste="this.onchange();" oninput="this.onchange();">
<br>
<a id="output">Text is Ascii? : true</a>


you can see this example and choose which are the events that interest you:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<head>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1" />
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.3.2/jquery.min.js"></script> 
<title>evetns</title>
</head>
<body>
<form>
    <input class="controlevents" id="i1" type="text" /><br />
    <input class="controlevents" id="i2" type="text" /><br />
    <input class="controlevents" id="i3" type="text" /><br />
    <input class="controlevents" id="i4" type="text" /><br />
    <input class="controlevents" id="i5" type="text" /><br />
</form>
<div id="datatext"></div>
</body>
</html>
<script>
$(function(){

function testingevent(ev){
    if (ev.currentTarget.tagName=="INPUT")
        $("#datatext").append("<div>id : " + ev.currentTarget.id + ", tag: " + ev.currentTarget.tagName + ", type: "+ ev.type +"</div>");
}   

    var eventlist = ["resizeend","rowenter","dragleave","beforepaste","dragover","beforecopy","page","beforeactivate","beforeeditfocus","controlselect","blur",
                    "beforedeactivate","keydown","dragstart","scroll","propertychange","dragenter","rowsinserted","mouseup","contextmenu","beforeupdate",
                    "readystatechange","mouseenter","resize","copy","selectstart","move","dragend","rowexit","activate","focus","focusin","mouseover","cut",
                    "mousemove","focusout","filterchange","drop","blclick","rowsdelete","keypress","losecapture","deactivate","datasetchanged","dataavailable",
                    "afterupdate","mousewheel","keyup","movestart","mouseout","moveend","cellchange","layoutcomplete","help","errorupdate","mousedown","paste",
                    "mouseleave","click","drag","resizestart","datasetcomplete","beforecut","change","error","abort","load","select"];

    var inputs = $(".controlevents");

    $.each(eventlist, function(i, el){
        inputs.bind(el, testingevent);
    });

});
</script>

I may be late to the party here but can you not just use the .change() event that jQuery provides.

You should be able to do something like ...

$(#CONTROLID).change(function(){
    do your stuff here ...
});

You could always bind it to a list of controls with something like ...

var flds = $("input, textarea", window.document);

flds.live('change keyup', function() {
    do your code here ...
});

The live binder ensures that all elements that exist on the page now and in the future are handled.


This is the fastest& clean way to do that :

I'm using Jquery-->

$('selector').on('change', function () {
    console.log(this.id+": "+ this.value);
});

It is working pretty fine for me.


Although this question was posted 10 years ago, I believe that it still needs some improvements. So here is my solution.

$(document).on('propertychange change click keyup input paste', 'selector', function (e) {
    // Do something here
});

The only problem with this solution is, it won't trigger if the value changes from javascript like $('selector').val('some value'). You can fire any event to your selector when you change the value from javascript.

$(selector).val('some value');
// fire event
$(selector).trigger('change');