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Get URL Parameters Using Javascript

An easy way to parse the query string in your URL to grab certain values.

Published Aug 17, 2006 by lobo235
Last updated on May 19, 2009

Most of the server-side programming languages that I know of like PHP, ASP, or JSP give you easy access to parameters in the query string of a URL. Javascript does not give you easy access. With javascript you must write your own function to parse the window.location.href value to get the query string parameters you want. Here is a small function I wrote that will parse the window.location.href value and return the value for the parameter you specify. It does this using javascript's built in regular expressions. Here is the function:

function gup( name )
{
  name = name.replace(/[\[]/,"\\\[").replace(/[\]]/,"\\\]");
  var regexS = "[\\?&]"+name+"=([^&#]*)";
  var regex = new RegExp( regexS );
  var results = regex.exec( window.location.href );
  if( results == null )
    return "";
  else
    return results[1];
}

The way that the function is used is fairly simple. Let's say you have the following URL:

http://www.foo.com/index.html?bob=123&frank=321&tom=213#top

You want to get the value from the frank parameter so you call the javascript function as follows:

var frank_param = gup( 'frank' );

Now if you look at the frank_param variable it contains the number 321. The query string was parsed by the regular expression and the value of the frank parameter was retrieved. The function is smart in a couple of ways. For example, if you have an anchor in your URL like our example URL above does (#top) the gup() function knows to stop before the # character. Also, if a requested parameter doesn't exist in the query string then an empty string is returned instead of a null.

This function has worked very well for my query string parsing needs and should work well for you.

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