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findText method

Searches for text in the document and positions the start and end points of the range to encompass the search string.


var retval = TextRange.findText(String, count, Flags);


String [in]

Type: String

String that specifies the text to find.

count [in, optional]

Type: Integer

Integer that specifies the number of characters to search from the starting point of the range. A positive integer indicates a forward search; a negative integer indicates a backward search.

Flags [in, optional]

Type: Integer

Integer that specifies one or more of the following flags to indicate the type of search:


Default. Match partial words.


Match in reverse.


Match whole words only.


Match case.


Match bytes.


Match diacritical marks.


Match Kashida character.


Match AlefHamza character.

Return value

Type: Boolean

Boolean that returns one of the following values:

Return valueDescription

The search text was found.


The search text was not found.


Standards information

There are no standards that apply here.


A range has two distinct states: degenerate and nondegenerate.

A degenerate range is like a text editor caret (insertion point) —it does not actually select any characters. Instead, it specifies a point between two characters. The end points of a degenerate range are adjacent.

A nondegenerate range is like a text editor selection, in that it selects a certain amount of text. The end points of a nondegenerate range are not adjacent.

The value passed for the count parameter controls the part of the document, relative to the range, that is searched. The behavior of the findText method depends on whether the state is degenerate or nondegenerate:

  • If the range is degenerate, passing a large positive number causes the text to the right of the range to be searched. Passing a large negative number causes the text to the left of the range to be searched.
  • If the range is nondegenerate, passing a large positive number causes the text to the right of the start of the range to be searched. Passing a large negative number causes the text to the left of the end of the range to be searched. Passing 0 causes only the text selected by the range to be searched.

This feature might not be available on non-Microsoft Win32 platforms.

A text range is not modified if the text specified for the findText method is not found.


This example creates a TextRange over the body of the document, and then uses the findText method to search for text with various flag combinations. The results are indicated in the example code comments.

<!DOCTYPE html>

  <title>Leonardo da Vinci</title>

  Leonardo da Vinci was one of the great masters of the High 
  Renaissance, especially in painting, sculpture, architecture, 
  engineering, and science.
    var oRange = document.body.createTextRange();

    // record the current position in a bookmark
    var sBookMark = oRange.getBookmark();

    // true - case-insensitive and partial word match

    // reset the range using the bookmark

    // false - matches whole words only	 
    oRange.findText('engineer', 0, 2);

    // false - case-sensitive
    oRange.findText('high', 0, 4);

    // true - case-sensitive and matches whole words
    oRange.findText('Leonardo', 0, 6);

    // the degenerate case

    // make the range degenerate

    // false - must specify large character count in this case
    oRange.findText('Leonardo', 0, 6);

    // true - no third parameter passed, so no count needed

    // true - a large count covers the range
    oRange.findText('Leonardo', 1000000000, 6);


See also




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