Strip HTML the easy way

Dec 15, 2023
2 minutes to read

Ever needed to display the textual content of a string, but there’s just these pesky HTML tags in the way? Maybe you have some external data that you don’t control and just want to show your user a content of an email, maybe some HTML snippet you grabbed with a web crawler… whatever the case – I know you’ve reached for regex before to parse out those tags, find a matching closing tag, yada-yada.

Well no more! You can utilise the DOMParser API, which has a useful parseFromString method that returns a brand new HTMLDocument for us. The great thing about that is its textContents are then available to us, sans-tags!

export const strip = (html: string) => {
  const doc = new DOMParser().parseFromString(html, 'text/html')
  return (doc.body.textContent || '').trim()

If we now run the following string through it:

  <h1>Fancy-schmancy title</h2>
  <h2>Fancy sub-title</h2>
  <p>And some not that fancy body text.</p>

Then we get out the following. As you can see, it even respects block-elements and produces newlines between them. This is great for keeping some basic level of formatting from your source document.

'Fancy-schmancy title\n  Fancy sub-title\n  And some not that fancy body text.'