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HTML DOM compareDocumentPosition() Method

Element Object Reference Element Object

Example

Find out where one paragraph is positioned compared to another paragraph:

var p1=document.getElementById("p1");
var p2=document.getElementById("p2");
p1.compareDocumentPosition(p2);

The result will be:

4

Try it yourself »


Definition and Usage

The compareDocumentPosition() method compares two nodes, and returns an integer describing where they are positioned in the document.

Look at the example above. The possible return values would specify:

1: No relationship, the two nodes do not belong to the same document.

2: The first node (p1) is positioned after the second node (p2).

4: The first node (p1) is positioned before the second node (p2).

8: The first node (p1) is positioned inside the second node (p2).

16: The second node (p2) is positioned inside the first node (p1).

32: No relationship, or the two nodes are two attributes on the same element.

Note: The return value could also be a combination of values. I.e. the returnvalue 20 means that p2 is inside p1 (16) AND p1 is positioned before p2 (4).


Browser Support

Internet Explorer Firefox Opera Google Chrome Safari

The compareDocumentPosition() method is supported in all major browsers.

Note: Internet Explorer 8 and earlier does not support this method.


Syntax

node.compareDocumentPosition(node)

Parameters

Parameter Type Description
node Node object Required. Specifies the node to compare with the current node

Return Value

Type Description
Number A Number representing where two nodes are positioned compared to each other

Possible return values:

1 (No relationship, the two nodes do not belong to the same document)

2 (The first node (p1) is positioned after the second node (p2))

4 (The first node (p1) is positioned before the second node (p2))

8 (The first node (p1) is positioned inside the second node (p2))

16 (The second node (p2) is positioned inside the first node (p1))

32 (No relationship, or the two nodes are two attributes on the same element)

Technical Details

DOM Version Core Level 1 Node Object


Element Object Reference Element Object


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