designMode

Every once in a while I stumble upon an API or browser setting that I can’t believe ever existed. Such examples can be seen in the numerous String.prototype properties such as bold, italics, and even blink, which wrap given string text in their representative HTML tags. Bizarre.

It was recently brought to my attention the document.designMode API: an on|off switch that acts almost like a contentEdible attribute for the entire document. You can toggle designMode by simply changing the setting:

document.designMode = "on";

With the designMode setting on, you can edit page text, drag and drop assets, and generally cause chaos on the page. This is really nice for prototyping; I’d have loved to have known about this while doing client work.

While I see uses for this API, it does feel a bit bizarre. I’d have liked to have known the origins of this property and its use cases. Have ideas about how you’d use it? Share!

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