How to check whether CKEditor has some text in it?

I have an HTML form with a few fields. One of them is a textarea managed by CKEditor.

When the user wants to submit the form, I want to check whether he entered values in all the fields.

I know how I can check if CKEditor control has anything in it, but it could be “empty” HTML tags without any text in it.

How do I check for text?

Server side I’m using something like PHP’s trim(strip_tags($content)), so I’d like to have the same in JavaScript.

A solution using jQuery would also be usable.

This will work:

$("#editorContainer iframe").contents().find("body").text();

That will contain only the text, and none of the html tags.


It definitely works on the CKEditor demo page. Use Firefox and Firebug, go to the Firebug console, and type in:

$("#demoInside iframe").contents().find("body").text();

The console will print out the text in the editor, with no html tags. Make sure you have the selector correct in your particular application. You can test your selector like this:

$("#demoInside iframe").contents().find("body").length;

That should equal 1. If it’s 0, your selector is wrong.


Again, my code is still correct, and it still works on that page. You just need the right selector. On the page you linked to, it is a <span> with id cke_editor1. That particular page does not make use of jQuery, so it requires some additional work to prove this sample works. Install FireQuery, “jqueryify” the page, and then do this in the Firebug console (note you have to use jQuery and not $. That’s how FireQuery works).

jQuery("#cke_editor1 iframe").contents().find("body").text();

In short, make sure you have the right selector to get to your iframe. Whether you create your CKEditor from a <div> or a <textarea> is not important. As long as you can select the <iframe> that CKEditor injects into the DOM, you can use .contents().find("body").text() to get the text of that iframe. Have you tested your jquery selector to see if .length == 1?

You can use the following snippet to check if the ckeditor has some text.

var _contents = CKEDITOR.instances.editor1.document.getBody().getText();
if (_contents == '') {
    alert('Please provide the contents.') ;

CKEditor 5 – Classic editor

This is an old question but, since it’s one of the first results in google, i think it would be helpful to update the answer for the latest versions of ckeditor, in my case ckeditor 5 version 11.0.1

The problem with ckeditor 5 is even when it’s/looks empty, when submitting the form, it does’nt send an empty value as you may expect, but instead it send this string :


It’s not what you want, especially when you want set some validations rules on the server side.

To avoid this headache, i use this snippet of code based on light-flight answer:

$(document).ready(function() {

    var editorContainer = document.querySelector('#editor');

    var check_if_empty = function(val) {

        return $.makeArray($(val)).every(function(el) {

            return el.innerHTML.replace(/&nbsp;|\s/g, '').length === 0;

    var clear_input_if_empty_content = function(input) {

        var $form = $(input).parents('form');

        $form.on('submit', function() {

            if (check_if_empty($(input).val())) {


    ClassicEditor.create( editorContainer )
        .then(function(editor) {
        .catch(function(error) {


var feedback = CKEDITOR.instances.messagechat.document.getBody().getChild(0).getText(); 
// get Data

We use prototype, with that library and the following addition:

  getInnerText: function(element) {
    element = $(element);
    return element.innerText && !window.opera ? element.innerText
      : element.innerHTML.stripScripts().unescapeHTML().replace(/[\n\r\s]+/g, ' ');

(Thanks to Tobie Langel)

I was able to use the following function to determine whether any actual text was inside CKEditor:

function editorEmpty(instanceName){

    var ele = (new Element('div')).update(CKEDITOR.instances[instanceName].getData()); 

    return (ele.getInnerText() == '' ||^(&nbsp;)+$/i) == 0);

Note the test for &nbsp; as well – often when the editor appears empty, it actually contains something like: <p>&nbsp;</p>.

The answers/resolutions are collected from stackoverflow, are licensed under cc by-sa 2.5 , cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0 .

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