Dump DOM with JavaScript

This JavaScript dumps the document-object model (DOM) tree of a page into a new window. It is handy for debugging if your web page is dynamically created, so that it is not possible to view the HTML source of the objects.

Try it!

The script

var d1;

/* Dump the DOM into a new window. */

function dump_dom ()
{
    if (typeof(Node) == "undefined") {
        alert ("Sorry, this script doesn't work with Internet Explorer.");
        return;
    }
    var w1 = window.open ("", 'DOM_output');
    d1 = w1.document; 
    d1.open(); 
    d1.writeln ('<h1>Tree of nodes</h1>\n<ol>');
    traverse_nodes (document, '', 1);
    d1.writeln('</ol>');
    d1.close();
}

/* Possible types of nodes. */

var node_types = new Array (
    "FAKE NODE", // fix array offset
    "ELEMENT NODE",
    "ATTRIBUTE NODE",
    "TEXT NODE",
    "CDATA SECTION NODE",
    "ENTITY REFERENCE NODE",
    "ENTITY NODE",
    "PROCESSING INSTRUCTION NODE",
    "COMMENT NODE",
    "DOCUMENT NODE",
    "DOCUMENT TYPE NODE",
    "DOCUMENT FRAGMENT NODE",
    "NOTATION NODE"
);

/* Write out a value in a certain colour, if the value exists,
   otherwise do nothing. */

function write_value_colour (value, value_name, colour)
{
    if (value) {
        var safe_value = 
            value.replace (/\n/g,'\\n').
                  replace (/</g, "&lt;").
                  replace (/>/g, '&gt;');
        d1.write(' <small>'+value_name+':</small> <font color="'+
                 colour+'">'+safe_value+'</font>');
    }
}

/* Traverse the sub-nodes of 'node' */

function traverse_nodes (node, num) 
{
    if (node.nodeType == Node.ELEMENT_NODE)
        d1.write('<li><b>&lt;'+node.nodeName+'&gt;</b>');
    else
        d1.write('<li><b>'+node.nodeName+'</b>');
    // Write the node's ID, class name, and value if they exist.
    write_value_colour (node.id,        "id",    "red");
    write_value_colour (node.className, "class", "green");
    write_value_colour (node.nodeValue, "value", "purple");
    // If the node is not a text node or an element node, print its
    // type.
    if (node.nodeType != Node.TEXT_NODE &&
        node.nodeType != Node.ELEMENT_NODE) {
        var node_type = node_types[node.nodeType].toLowerCase ();
        d1.write(' <i>('+node_type+')</i> ');
    }
    if (node.attributes && node.attributes.length) { 
        // Write the node's attributes, numbered A, B, C.
        d1.write('<ol type="A"> ')
        for (var i = 0; i < node.attributes.length; ++i)
            traverse_nodes (node.attributes.item(i),i);
        d1.write('</ol>')
    }
    if (node.childNodes && node.childNodes.length) { 
        // Write the node's child nodes, numbered 1, 2, 3.
        d1.write('<ol>')
        for (var i = 0; i < node.childNodes.length; ++i)
            traverse_nodes (node.childNodes.item(i), i);
        d1.write('</ol>')
    }
    d1.write("</li>\n");
}

Note for Internet Explorer users: This script does not work with Internet Explorer. One problem is that Internet Explorer does not have the Node constants such as Node.ELEMENT_NODE. This can be fixed by changing every instance of these to numerical values, but other problems abound with Internet Explorer's version of JavaScript and DOM to the point where debugging it to work with Internet Explorer does not seem worthwhile. The script will work with most browsers, such as Firefox, Opera, and Google Chrome.


Copyright © Ben Bullock 2009-2019. All rights reserved. For comments, questions, and corrections, please email Ben Bullock (benkasminbullock@gmail.com) or use the discussion group at Google Groups. / Privacy / Disclaimer