Tutorials References Exercises Bootcamp Menu
Sign Up Create Website Get Certified Pro

XML Tutorial

XML HOME XML Introduction XML How to use XML Tree XML Syntax XML Elements XML Attributes XML Namespaces XML Display XML HttpRequest XML Parser XML DOM XML XPath XML XSLT XML XQuery XML XLink XML Validator XML DTD XML Schema XML Server XML Examples XML Quiz XML Certificate


AJAX Introduction AJAX XMLHttp AJAX Request AJAX Response AJAX XML File AJAX PHP AJAX ASP AJAX Database AJAX Applications AJAX Examples


DOM Introduction DOM Nodes DOM Accessing DOM Node Info DOM Node List DOM Traversing DOM Navigating DOM Get Values DOM Change Nodes DOM Remove Nodes DOM Replace Nodes DOM Create Nodes DOM Add Nodes DOM Clone Nodes DOM Examples

XPath Tutorial

XPath Introduction XPath Nodes XPath Syntax XPath Axes XPath Operators XPath Examples

XSLT Tutorial

XSLT Introduction XSL Languages XSLT Transform XSLT <template> XSLT <value-of> XSLT <for-each> XSLT <sort> XSLT <if> XSLT <choose> XSLT Apply XSLT on the Client XSLT on the Server XSLT Edit XML XSLT Examples

XQuery Tutorial

XQuery Introduction XQuery Example XQuery FLWOR XQuery HTML XQuery Terms XQuery Syntax XQuery Add XQuery Select XQuery Functions


DTD Introduction DTD Building Blocks DTD Elements DTD Attributes DTD Elements vs Attr DTD Entities DTD Examples

XSD Schema

XSD Introduction XSD How To XSD <schema> XSD Elements XSD Attributes XSD Restrictions XSD Complex Elements XSD Empty XSD Elements-only XSD Text-only XSD Mixed XSD Indicators XSD <any> XSD <anyAttribute> XSD Substitution XSD Example

XSD Data Types

XSD String XSD Date/Time XSD Numeric XSD Misc XSD Reference

Web Services



DOM Node Types DOM Node DOM NodeList DOM NamedNodeMap DOM Document DOM Element DOM Attribute DOM Text DOM CDATA DOM Comment DOM XMLHttpRequest DOM Parser XSLT Elements XSLT/XPath Functions

XML DOM compareDocumentPosition() Method

❮ Node Object


The following code fragment loads "books.xml" into xmlDoc and compares the placement of two nodes (the first and the third <book> element) in the DOM hierarchy:

var xhttp = new XMLHttpRequest();
xhttp.onreadystatechange = function() {
   if (this.readyState == 4 && this.status == 200) {
xhttp.open("GET", "books.xml", true);

function myFunction(xml) {
    var xmlDoc = xml.responseXML;
    var x = xmlDoc.getElementsByTagName('book')[0];
    var y = xmlDoc.getElementsByTagName('book')[2];
    document.getElementById("demo").innerHTML =

The output of the code above will be:

Try it Yourself »

Most browsers, will treat empty white-spaces or new lines as text nodes, IE 9 and earlier will not. So, in the example above, most browsers will output 4, while IE 9 and earlier will output 2.

Definition and Usage

The compareDocumentPosition() method compares the placement of two nodes in the DOM hierarchy (document).

Browser Support

Internet Explorer Firefox Opera Google Chrome Safari

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

Note: Internet Explorer 9 and earlier do not support this method.




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 the two nodes are positioned compared to each other. The possible return values are:

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

2 - The specified node precedes the current node.

4 - The specified node follows the current node.

8 - The specified node contains the current node.

16 - The specified node is contained by the current node.

32 - The specified and the current node have no common container node or the two nodes are different attributes of the same node.

Note: The return value could also be a combination of values. E.g. a return value of 20 means that the specified node is contained by the current node (16) AND the specified node follows the current node (4).

Technical Details

DOM Version Core Level 3 Node Object

❮ Node Object