innerHTML property

[This documentation is preliminary and is subject to change.]

Sets or retrieves the HTML between the start and end tags of the object.


HRESULT value = object.put_innerHTML(BSTR v);HRESULT value = object.get_innerHTML(BSTR* p);

Property values

Type: BSTR

the content between the start and end tags.


The IHTMLElement::innerHTML property is valid for both block and inline elements. By definition, elements that do not have both an opening and closing tag cannot have an IHTMLElement::innerHTML property.

The IHTMLElement::innerHTML property takes a string that specifies a valid combination of text and elements. When the IHTMLElement::innerHTML property is set, the given string completely replaces the existing content of the object. If the string contains HTML tags, the string is parsed and formatted as it is placed into the document.

This property is accessible at run time as the document is being parsed; however, removing elements at run time, before the document is fully loaded, could prevent other areas of the document from rendering.

The IHTMLElement::innerHTML property is read-only on the col, colGroup, frameSet, html, head, style, table, tBody, tFoot, tHead, title, and tr objects.

You can change the value of the title element using the document.title property.

To change the contents of the table, tFoot, tHead, and tr elements, use the table object model described in Building Tables Dynamically. However, to change the content of a particular cell, you can use IHTMLElement::innerHTML.

Security Warning:   Improper handling of the innerHTML property can enable script-injection attacks. When accepting text from an untrusted source (such as the query string of a URL), use createTextNode to convert the HTML to text, and append the element to the document using appendChild. Refer to the Examples section below for more information.

To maintain compatibility with earlier versions of Windows Internet Explorer, this property applies to the textArea object. However, the property works only with strings that do not contain tags. With a string that contains a tag, this property returns an error. It is better to use the innerText property with this object.


This example uses the innerHTML property to change the text of a paragraph when an onmouseover event occurs. The affected text and any tags within it are changed by the onmouseover and onmouseout events.

Code example:

<P onmouseover="this.innerHTML='<B>Mouse out to change back.</B>'"
    onmouseout="this.innerHTML='<I>Mouse over again to change.</I>'">
    <I>Mouse over this text to change it.</I>

This example uses the innerHTML property to insert script into the page.

Code example:

function insertScript(){
    var sHTML="<input type=button onclick=" + "go2()" + " value='Click Me'><BR>";
    var sScript="<SCRIPT DEFER>";
    sScript = sScript + "function go2(){ alert('Hello from inserted script.') }";
    sScript = sScript + "</SCRIPT" + ">";
    ScriptDiv.innerHTML = sHTML + sScript;
<BODY onload="insertScript();">
    <DIV ID="ScriptDiv"></DIV>

The following example demonstrates how to convert the HTML source to text using a temporary div element and createTextNode. Once the HTML is sanitized, it can be safely inserted into the document using innerHTML.

Code example:

<body onload="displaySource()">

<script type="text/javascript">
function sanitizeHTML(s) {
    var d = document.createElement('div');
    return d.innerHTML;

function displaySource()
    var h = sanitizeHTML(document.documentElement.outerHTML);
    document.getElementById('asHTML').innerHTML = "<pre>" + h + "</pre>";
    document.getElementById('asText').innerText = h;

<h2>As HTML</h2>
<div id="asHTML"></div>
<h2>As Text</h2>
<div id="asText"></div>


See also

Building Tables Dynamically



Build date: 6/12/2012

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