Get computed font size for DOM element in JS

Is it possible to detect the computed font-size of a DOM element, taking into consideration generic settings made elsewhere (In the body tag for example), inherited values, and so on?

A framework-independent approach would be nice, as I'm working on a script that should work standalone, but that is not a requirement of course.

Background: I'm trying to tweak CKEditor's font selector plugin (source here) so that it always shows the font size of the current cursor position (as opposed to only when within a span that has an explicit font-size set, which is the current behaviour).

Answers:

Answer

You could try to use the non-standard IE element.currentStyle property, otherwise you can look for the DOM Level 2 standard getComputedStyle method if available :

function getStyle(el,styleProp) {
  var camelize = function (str) {
    return str.replace(/\-(\w)/g, function(str, letter){
      return letter.toUpperCase();
    });
  };

  if (el.currentStyle) {
    return el.currentStyle[camelize(styleProp)];
  } else if (document.defaultView && document.defaultView.getComputedStyle) {
    return document.defaultView.getComputedStyle(el,null)
                               .getPropertyValue(styleProp);
  } else {
    return el.style[camelize(styleProp)]; 
  }
}

Usage:

var element = document.getElementById('elementId');
getStyle(element, 'font-size');

More info:

Edit: Thanks to @Crescent Fresh, @kangax and @Pekka for the comments.

Changes:

  • Added camelize function, since properties containing hypens, like font-size, must be accessed as camelCase (eg.: fontSize) on the currentStyle IE object.
  • Checking the existence of document.defaultView before accessing getComputedStyle.
  • Added last case, when el.currentStyle and getComputedStyle are not available, get the inline CSS property via element.style.
Answer

Looks like jQuery (1.9 at least) uses getComputedStyle() or currentStyle itself when you use $('#element')[.css][1]('fontSize'), so you really shouldn't have to bother with more complicated solutions if you're OK using jQuery.

Tested in IE 7-10, FF and Chrome

Answer

To overcome the 'em' problem I have quickly written a function, if the font-size in ie is 'em' the function calculates with the body font-size.

        function getFontSize(element){
        var size = computedStyle(element, 'font-size');
        if(size.indexOf('em') > -1){
            var defFont = computedStyle(document.body, 'font-size');
            if(defFont.indexOf('pt') > -1){
                defFont = Math.round(parseInt(defFont)*96/72);
            }else{
                defFont = parseInt(defFont);
            }
            size = Math.round(defFont * parseFloat(size));
        } 
        else if(size.indexOf('pt') > -1){
            size = Math.round(parseInt(size)*96/72)
        }
        return parseInt(size);
    }

    function computedStyle(element, property){
        var s = false;
        if(element.currentStyle){
            var p = property.split('-');
            var str = new String('');
            for(i in p){
                str += (i > 0)?(p[i].substr(0, 1).toUpperCase() + p[i].substr(1)):p[i];
            }
            s = element.currentStyle[str];
        }else if(window.getComputedStyle){
            s = window.getComputedStyle(element, null).getPropertyValue(property);
        }
        return s;
    }

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