Editing Text In-Place using HTML5 ContentEditable


You wish to make a div element editable in place using the HTML5 contenteditable attribute.


Implement a directive for the contenteditable attribute and use ng-model for data binding.

In this example we use a div and a paragraph to render the content.

<div contenteditable ng-model="text"></div>

The directive is especially interesting since it uses ng-model instead of custom attributes.

app.directive("contenteditable", function() {
  return {
    restrict: "A",
    require: "ngModel",
    link: function(scope, element, attrs, ngModel) {

      function read() {

      ngModel.$render = function() {
        element.html(ngModel.$viewValue || "");

      element.bind("blur keyup change", function() {

You can find the complete example on github.


The directive is restricted for usage as an HTML attribute since we want to use the HTML5 contenteditable attribute as it is instead of defining a new HTML element.

It requires the ngModel controller for data binding in conjunction with the link function. The implementation binds an event listener, which executes the read function with apply. This ensures that even though we call the read function from within a DOM event handler we notify Angular about it.

The read function updates the model based on the view’s user input. And the $render function is doing the same in the other direction, updating the view for us whenever the model changes.

The directive is surprisingly simple, leaving the ng-model aside. But without the ng-model support we would have to come up with our own model-attribute handling which would not be consistent with other directives.