The NodeIterator interface represents an iterator over the members of a list of the nodes in a subtree of the DOM. The nodes will be returned in document order.


A NodeIterator can be created using the Document.createNodeIterator() method, as follows:

const nodeIterator = document.createNodeIterator(root, whatToShow, filter);

Instance properties

This interface doesn't inherit any property.

NodeIterator.root Read only

Returns a Node representing the root node as specified when the NodeIterator was created.

NodeIterator.whatToShow Read only

Returns an unsigned long being a bitmask made of constants describing the types of Node that must to be presented. Non-matching nodes are skipped, but their children may be included, if relevant.

The possible values are:

Constant Numerical value Description
NodeFilter.SHOW_ALL 4294967295 (that is the max value of unsigned long) Shows all nodes.
NodeFilter.SHOW_ATTRIBUTE Deprecated 2 Shows attribute Attr nodes. This is meaningful only when creating a NodeIterator with an Attr node as its root; in this case, it means that the attribute node will appear in the first position of the iteration or traversal. Since attributes are never children of other nodes, they do not appear when traversing over the document tree.
NodeFilter.SHOW_CDATA_SECTION Deprecated 8 Shows CDATASection nodes.
NodeFilter.SHOW_COMMENT 128 Shows Comment nodes.
NodeFilter.SHOW_DOCUMENT 256 Shows Document nodes.
NodeFilter.SHOW_DOCUMENT_FRAGMENT 1024 Shows DocumentFragment nodes.
NodeFilter.SHOW_DOCUMENT_TYPE 512 Shows DocumentType nodes.
NodeFilter.SHOW_ELEMENT 1 Shows Element nodes.
NodeFilter.SHOW_ENTITY Deprecated 32 Legacy, no more used.
NodeFilter.SHOW_ENTITY_REFERENCE Deprecated 16 Legacy, no more used.
NodeFilter.SHOW_NOTATION Deprecated 2048 Legacy, no more used.
NodeFilter.SHOW_PROCESSING_INSTRUCTION 64 Shows ProcessingInstruction nodes.
NodeFilter.SHOW_TEXT 4 Shows Text nodes.
NodeIterator.filter Read only

Returns a NodeFilter used to select the relevant nodes.

NodeIterator.referenceNode Read only Experimental

Returns the Node to which the iterator is anchored.

NodeIterator.pointerBeforeReferenceNode Read only Experimental

Returns a boolean flag that indicates whether the NodeIterator is anchored before, the flag being true, or after, the flag being false, the anchor node.

Instance methods

This interface doesn't inherit any method.

NodeIterator.detach() Deprecated

This operation is a no-op. It doesn't do anything. Previously it was telling the engine that the NodeIterator was no more used, but this is now useless.


Returns the previous Node in the document, or null if there are none.


Returns the next Node in the document, or null if there are none.


DOM Standard
# interface-nodeiterator

Browser compatibility

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See also