jquery ajax parse response text

Ok this is really frusturating me because I've done this a hundred times before, and this time it isn't working. So I know I'm doing something wrong, I just can't figure it out.

I am using the jQuery .get routine to load html from another file. I don't want to use .load() because it always replaces the children of the element I'm loading content into.

Here is my .get request:

$(document).ready(function() {
    $.get('info.html', {}, function(html) {
        // debug code
        // end debug code

The file 'info.html' is a standard xhtml file with a proper doctype, and the only thing in the body is a series of ul's that I need to access. For some reason, the find function is giving me a null value.

In firebug, the GET request is showing the proper RESPONSE text and when I run


Instead of the current console.log line, I get the whole info.html as output, like I would expect.

Any ideas?



You cannot pull in an entire XHTML document. You can only handle tags that exist within the <body> of an html document. Frustrating. Strip everything from info.html that isn't within your <body> tag and try it again.

There are other potential ways around this issue - check below "Stackoverflow Related Items" at the base of this response.

From the Doc: (http://docs.jquery.com/Core/jQuery#htmlownerDocument)

"HTML string cannot contain elements that are invalid within a div, such as html, head, body, or title elements."

Stackoverflow Related Items:


I know this is an old post but I've been having the EXACT same frustrating problem for a couple of hours and have found a solution. For me what actually worked was to have the html content wrapped with a form tag.

So having the following html source:

    <div id="content">Some Stuff</div>

With this jquery snippet should work:

var callback = function (data) {
   alert($("#content", $(data)).html());
$.get(url, null, callback, null);

Hope this helps...


I have found this being pretty clean solution:

var elementInResponse = $("<div>").html(responseText).find(selector);

Wanting to do the same thing and knowing that JQuery load(..) does it, I had a look in the code. While you can't turn a complete html response directly into a JQuery object, you can append it to one so:

function(data, textStatus, xhr) {
    // Create a dummy div to hold the results,
    // inject the contents of the document into it,
    // Locate the specified elements

The response from the server that goes into data is like:

<! doctype ... >
    <div id="snippet">
      <p>Some content here that we are interested in</p>

Try including whole body within a <div> tag, e.g. <body><div>content</div></body>.


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