Multi-line strings in Javascript

For reference in case I lose it later. Thanks to E4X, we can now have multi-line strings similar to HEREDOC syntax (although quite a bit more verbose):

  var string = (<r><![CDATA[

     The text string goes here.  Since this is a XML CDATA section,
     stuff like <> work fine too, even if definitely invalid XML.


This syntax works fine on Greasemonkey too (trunk, 2005-10-ish, GM 0.6.3). Should be useful, especially in combination with stuff like the add CSS “pattern”…

I can’t believe how much pain it is to try to get raw text in here… This is just a bit silly. Basically had to go turn off the WYSIWYG editor cocmpletely. I guess I should try doing things in an external editor instead…


19 Responses to “Multi-line strings in Javascript”

  1. » Blog Archive » Multi-line strings in Actionscript 3 Says:

    […] Javascript 2, so maybe some JS guys had figured this one out. Turns out they did. Here’s the JS nugget that led me to my […]

  2. Tony Says:

    Do you know any other ways which work with IE6,7 ?

  3. mook Says:

    Sorry, no ideas there. IE6 is old enough that if there had been a way, I’d assume smarter people would have found it 🙂

  4. Molla Says:

    I used something like follows and it works both in IE and FF.

    …. more content

    var page = document.getElementById(“page_html”).innerHTML;

  5. Molla Says:

    Sorry, code should be like:

    .... more content

    var page = document.getElementById("page_html").innerHTML;

  6. molla Says:

    <script id=”page_html”>
    There is some content
    var page = document.getElementById(“page_html”).innerHTML;

  7. steve Says:

    it doesn’t work in IE though 😦

    Anybody got something similar for IE?

  8. Greasemonkey Tips - graysky Says:

    […] ECMAScript for XML (E4X) you can simulate HEREDOC in Javascript which is great when blasting HTML or CSS. Having to escape strings and join multi-line strings is […]

  9. JS_newbie Says:

    Incredible, this is just what i looked for.

  10. Lev Says:

    That should be fine:

    There is some content

    Here is the content above duplicated via JS:

    var page = document.getElementById(”page_html”).innerHTML;

  11. Lev Says:

    Sorry, html tags were filtered out by wordpress in previous comment.

    That should be fine:

    <div id=’page_html’>
    There is some content
    Here is the content above duplicated via JS:
    <script type=’text/javascript’>
    var page = document.getElementById(”page_html”).innerHTML;

  12. Lisa Says:

    regarding the hidden div method, lets say I want an html fragment like:


    Wouldn’t that prevent my code from validating?

  13. Lisa Says:

    maybe the validation is only relevant for divs that are actually rendered..

  14. Nate Kittelson Says:

    You can also escape the line-carriage like this:
    var1 = “line1\

    this won’t show up when the html is finally spit out, but it does increase organization.

  15. Sudipta Chatterjee Says:

    This one is a life-saver! However, I need a little more help.

    Can anyone tell me how to restore the newlines when I display the string as well? I have been able to put the multi-line string from a text file (wrapped with the CDATA stuff at the beginning and end), and am now simply trying to do a string.replace(“\n”, “\n”); in the code but it doesn’t seem to work.

  16. Sudipta Chatterjee Says:

    sorry, the above should have read string.replace(“\n”, “\\n”);

  17. Sudipta Chatterjee Says:

    Hmmf… sorry about spamming this comment space – I’m trying to replace newline characters with an additional br.

    Would really appreciate anyone’s help.

  18. Anonymous Says:

    This is a year late, but, new lines in text files aren’t actually “\n”, they’re “\r\n”… take took me a bit to figure out too.

  19. tomy Says:

    I know of seven ways to do that.

    var myString = function(){/*Hello World
    Saluton Mondo
    Shall we play a game?*/}.toString().slice(14,-3);

    var myString = `Saluton Mondo
    Hello World
    Shall we play a game?`;

    var myString = ().toString();

    var myString = “Saluton Mondo \
    Hello World \
    Shall we play a game?”;

    var myString = “Saulton Mondo” +
    “Hello World” +
    “Shall we play a game?”;

    var myString = [“Saluton Mondo”,
    “Hello World”,
    “Shall we play a game?”].join(“\n”);

    Saluton Mondo
    Hello World
    Shall we play a game?

    var myString = document.getElementById(“bogus”).innerHTML;

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