Using getAttribute() to retrieve the label’s "for" attribute returns NULL on internet explorer!

Damned Internet Explorer!!! I’ve just faced another browser issue by using the javascript function getAttribute() in order to retrieve the “for” value of a form’s label, ie:


(where “myLabel” is a reference to a <label> node)
The function always returns NULL, even if the “for” attribute is manually specified into HTML code, ie:

<label for="my_field_id">my label</label>

Fortunately, after a brief search on Google, I’ve found a post on, which contains a comment by Tino Zijdel, that show an easy and crossbrowser solution to get the “for” attribute (that can be used both to set a value or to get it):


Thank you Tino!

In my search I’d even discovered that on Internet Explorer getAttribute() is different from other browsers, because it offers an extra argument called “iFlags” that is a number that can be 0, 1 or 2 (genial!) and means (I’m reporting the official microsoft documentation):

0 -> Default. Performs a property search that is not case-sensitive, and returns an interpolated value if the property is found
1 -> Performs a case-sensitive property search. To find a match, the uppercase and lowercase letters in AttributeName must exactly match those in the attribute name. If the iFlags parameter for getAttribute is set to 1 and this option is set to 0 (default), the specified property name might not be found.
2 -> Returns the value exactly as it was set in script or in the source document

It would be a better world without Internet Explorer!

  • Rama

    Thanks a lot for this one line ‘myLabel.htmlFor’. You made my day. Had been struggling so hard.

    You are right . It would be a better world without Internet Explorer!

  • Steve

    Just wanted to “second” the thoughts about IE. In M$ defense, IE 9 is enormously better than the previous versions. Of course, corporate devs are stuck with IE 8 compatibility.

    “IE 8: It’s the new IE 6!”

  • Aryan

    Thank’s ….