document.execCommand(‘copy’) not working on Chrome

On Chrome only document.execCommand('copy') returns true but does not copy the text, it clears the clipboard.

I can’t find anyone who’s had the same problem, there are a lot of similar questions but please don’t mark this as a duplicate unless it really is.

  • I am calling selection.removeAllRanges() before selection.addRange().
  • selection.getRangeAt(0).cloneContents() returns a fragment containing the correct text
  • The text in the textarea doesn’t appear selected
  • If I call textarea.select() before document.execCommand('copy') the text appears selected and gets coppied to the clipboard. I don’t want to do this because it focuses the textarea and causes the page to scroll.
  • Tested on Chrome 61 and 63, MacOS
  • Working in Safari

Here’s my code (used within a click event listener)
https://codepen.io/jakecr/pen/XVXvKz

var textarea = document.createElement('textarea');
textarea.textContent = 'coppied text';
document.body.appendChild(textarea);

var selection = document.getSelection();
var range = document.createRange();
range.selectNodeContents(textarea);
selection.removeAllRanges();
selection.addRange(range);

// DOESN'T WORK WITHOUT THIS
// textarea.select();

console.log(selection.getRangeAt(0).cloneContents());
console.log('copy success', document.execCommand('copy'));

Answer

I am not really clear as to what really happens here…

It seems there is a mismatch as to what should be used between the value and the textContent properties of your textarea.
Chrome seems to always use value, while Firefox uses textContent.

btn.onclick = e => {
  const txt = document.createElement('textarea');
  document.body.appendChild(txt);
  txt.value = 'from value'; // chrome uses this
  txt.textContent = 'from textContent'; // FF uses this
  var sel = getSelection();
  var range = document.createRange();
  range.selectNode(txt);
  sel.removeAllRanges();
  sel.addRange(range);
  if(document.execCommand('copy')){
    console.log('copied');
  }
  document.body.removeChild(txt);
}
<button id="btn">Copy!</button>
<textarea>You can paste here

</textarea>

Since chrome doesn’t look at the textContent property, Range#selectNodeContents will select nothing on this browser…

However, you can use Range#selectNode which should return the same result in this case, and will workaround the issue.

document.getElementById('btn').addEventListener('click', function(){
  var textarea = document.createElement('textarea');
  textarea.textContent = 'copied text';
  document.body.appendChild(textarea);

  var selection = document.getSelection();
  var range = document.createRange();
//  range.selectNodeContents(textarea);
  range.selectNode(textarea);
  selection.removeAllRanges();
  selection.addRange(range);

  console.log('copy success', document.execCommand('copy'));
  selection.removeAllRanges();

  document.body.removeChild(textarea);
  
})
<button id="btn">copy</button>
<textarea>You can paste here</textarea>

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