A NodeFilter interface represents an object used to filter the nodes in a NodeIterator or TreeWalker. They don't know anything about the DOM or how to traverse nodes; they just know how to evaluate a single node against the provided filter.

The browser doesn't provide any object implementing this interface. It is the user who is expected to write one, tailoring the acceptNode() method to its needs, and using it with some TreeWalker or NodeIterator objects.


This interface neither implements, nor inherits, any properties.


This interface doesn't inherit any methods.

Returns an unsigned short that will be used to tell if a given Node must be accepted or not by the NodeIterator or TreeWalker iteration algorithm. This method is expected to be written by the user of a NodeFilter. Possible return values are:
Constant Description
FILTER_ACCEPT Value returned by the NodeFilter.acceptNode() method when a node should be accepted.
FILTER_REJECT Value to be returned by the NodeFilter.acceptNode() method when a node should be rejected. For TreeWalker, child nodes are also rejected. For NodeIterator, this flag is synonymous with FILTER_SKIP.
FILTER_SKIP Value to be returned by NodeFilter.acceptNode() for nodes to be skipped by the NodeIterator or TreeWalker object. The children of skipped nodes are still considered. This is treated as "skip this node but not its children".


var nodeIterator = document.createNodeIterator(
  // Node to use as root
  // Only consider nodes that are text nodes (nodeType 3)
  // Object containing the function to use for the acceptNode method
  // of the NodeFilter
    { acceptNode: function(node) {
      // Logic to determine whether to accept, reject or skip node
      // In this case, only accept nodes that have content
      // other than whitespace
      if ( ! /^\s*$/.test( ) {
        return NodeFilter.FILTER_ACCEPT;
// Show the content of every non-empty text node that is a child of root
var node;
while ((node = nodeIterator.nextNode())) {


Specification Status Comment
The definition of 'NodeFilter' in that specification.
Living Standard  
Document Object Model (DOM) Level 2 Traversal and Range Specification
The definition of 'NodeFilter' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition.

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Edge Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support 1.0 (Yes) 2.0 (1.8.1) 9.0 9.0 3.0
Feature Android Edge Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support (Yes) (Yes) 1.0 (1.8.1) (Yes) 9.0 3.0

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

 Last updated by: SaschaNaz,