How to live edit any webpage

I learned this trick to edit any web page on the fly long time ago. It was fun in the beginning and good technique to prank friends. With this technique when you type a single command in the Chrome debugger, it lets you edit any part of webpage as if you're typing the content in regular text editor.

There are two ways you can edit the web page content in live mode and see the change without even reloading the page.

Let's see how and where you can type these commands :

  1. Right click on any page you wish to edit content of

web_page

  1. Choose an inspect option from the menu described in previous point. This will open the debugging window at the bottom of the page

  2. If not already selected, choose a console option from the given set of tabs

    console_debugger

  3. Once console is selected, you can see the blinking cursor in bottom left corner of debugger console. This is where you will type the commands mentioned below.

console_cursor

Now, to the part to edit the web page content

  • Design Mode :

    document.designMode controls whether entire document is editable or not. Possible values are "on" and "off".

To edit the content, simply type the following command in debugger console to enable document edit option


// Update designMode to "on" and press enter
document.designMode = "on"

To disable, simple change value from "on" to "off" and press enter


document.designMode = "off"

This will turn off and disable the live web page edit and you can browse web page without interfering with any of its content

  • contentEditable :

    This is another way to edit HTML document. To enable this mode, simply type the following command followed by the enter key


document.body.contentEditable = true

To disable this mode, simply replace the value true with false


document.body.contentEditable = false

This will disable the live page editing.

You can also query whether contentEditable mode is on or not with following query followed by the enter key,


document.body.isContentEditable

This will output true or false depending on whether content is currently editable or not respectively.

Please note how these two approaches are similar in terms of behavior but different in how they are enabled. One needs a value in the form of string and other taken boolean . Other difference between these two is that designMode allows you to edit entire document while with contentEditable you get more control and granularity over which elements to mark for editing purpose

References:

Design Mode

Content Editable

This document assumes that you're using the Chrome browser to edit the content. It is not guaranteed that all parts of this tutorial will work on browsers other than the Chrome. If you have any issues running these commands, feel free to contact me

Jayesh Kawli

I am a web and mobile developer working at Wayfair in Boston, MA. I come to learn so many things during course of life and I write about things which helped me and feel like they can help others too.

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