jQuery - Get Content and Attributes

jQuery contains powerful methods for changing and manipulating HTML elements and attributes.

jQuery DOM Manipulation

One very important part of jQuery is the possibility to manipulate the DOM.

jQuery comes with a bunch of DOM related methods that make it easy to access and manipulate elements and attributes.

DOM = Document Object Model

The DOM defines a standard for accessing HTML and XML documents:

"The W3C Document Object Model (DOM) is a platform and language-neutral interface that allows programs and scripts to dynamically access and update the content, structure, and style of a document."

Get Content - text(), html(), and val()

Three simple, but useful, jQuery methods for DOM manipulation are:

  • text() - Sets or returns the text content of selected elements
  • html() - Sets or returns the content of selected elements (including HTML markup)
  • val() - Sets or returns the value of form fields

The following example demonstrates how to get content with the jQuery text() and html() methods:


  alert("Text: " + $("#test").text());
  alert("HTML: " + $("#test").html());
Try it Yourself »

The following example demonstrates how to get the value of an input field with the jQuery val() method:


  alert("Value: " + $("#test").val());
Try it Yourself »

Get Attributes - attr()

The jQuery attr() method is used to get attribute values.

The following example demonstrates how to get the value of the href attribute in a link:


Try it Yourself »

The next chapter explains how to set (change) content and attribute values.

jQuery Exercises

Test Yourself With Exercises


Use a jQuery method to return the text content of a <div> element.


Start the Exercise

jQuery HTML Reference

For a complete overview of all jQuery HTML methods, please go to our jQuery HTML/CSS Reference.