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javascript: show only a part of a long string (ellipsis)

Ellipsis (…) is a character which indicates that the content is to wide. There are many solutions to truncate the text and show an ellipsis: in javascript and css. I want to share my humble function which extends the String.prototype:

String.prototype.ellipsize = function(maxLength) {
	maxLength = maxLength || 100;
	if (this.length <= maxLength) {
		return this;
	var text = this.toString().replace(/[\r\n]/g, ""),
		max = maxLength,
		min = maxLength - 20,
		tryExtract = function () {
			var regex = new RegExp("^.{" + min + "," + max + "}\\s"),
				match = text.match(regex);
				if (match) {
					elipsized = match[0].replace(/\.?\s$/, '…');
				} else {
					//well, there were no \s between min and max
					min = min - 20;
	if (min <= 0) {
		return text;
	return elipsized || text;

To use it, just call the function from a string property in your favorite templating engine: Angular, jsRender, Knockout….:


This function takes an argument maxLength (default 100 chars). It doesn’t cut your text in the middle of a word, that’s why it looks after a whitespace in range of maxLength-20 and maxLength.


2 responses to “javascript: show only a part of a long string (ellipsis)

  1. Mayur 2013-02-19 at 16:39

    While working on my upcoming cool project, I wanted a JavaScript function that will perform an Ellipsis, bare in mind that I usually use C# and already have a .NET method that will do just that. However, in this case since my web application is 90% JS, I figured I could just do that client side. Here is what I came up with, I just wrote this 5 minutes ago, so use at your own risk.

    • Anatoly Mironov 2013-02-19 at 16:59

      Great. Did you want to share your solution? Did it disappear when you saved the comment?

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