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Parse HTML character references.


What is this?

This is a small and powerful decoder of HTML character references (often called entities).

When should I use this?

You can use this for spec-compliant decoding of character references. It’s small and fast enough to do that well. You can also use this when making a linter, because there are different warnings emitted with reasons for why and positional info on where they happened.


This package is ESM only. In Node.js (version 12.20+, 14.14+, or 16.0+), install with npm:

npm install parse-entities

In Deno with Skypack:

import {parseEntities} from '[email protected]?dts'

In browsers with Skypack:

<script type="module">
  import {parseEntities} from '[email protected]?min'


import {parseEntities} from 'parse-entities'

console.log(parseEntities('alpha &amp bravo')))
// => alpha & bravo

console.log(parseEntities('charlie &copycat; delta'))
// => charlie Β©cat; delta

console.log(parseEntities('echo &copy; foxtrot &#8800; golf &#x1D306; hotel'))
// => echo Β© foxtrot β‰  golf πŒ† hotel


This package exports the following identifier: parseEntities. There is no default export.

parseEntities(value[, options])

Parse HTML character references.


Configuration (optional).


Additional character to accept (string?, default: ''). This allows other characters, without error, when following an ampersand.


Whether to parse value as an attribute value (boolean?, default: false). This results in slightly different behavior.


Whether to allow nonterminated references (boolean, default: true). For example, &copycat for Β©cat. This behavior is compliant to the spec but can lead to unexpected results.


Starting position of value (Position or Point, optional). Useful when dealing with values nested in some sort of syntax tree. The default is:

{line: 1, column: 1, offset: 0}

Error handler (Function?).


Text handler (Function?).


Reference handler (Function?).


Context used when calling warning ('*', optional).


Context used when calling text ('*', optional).


Context used when calling reference ('*', optional)


string β€” decoded value.

function warning(reason, point, code)

Error handler.

  • this (*) β€” refers to warningContext when given to parseEntities
  • reason (string) β€” human readable reason for emitting a parse error
  • point (Point) β€” place where the error occurred
  • code (number) β€” machine readable code the error

The following codes are used:

Code Example Note
1 foo &amp bar Missing semicolon (named)
2 foo &#123 bar Missing semicolon (numeric)
3 Foo &bar baz Empty (named)
4 Foo &# Empty (numeric)
5 Foo &bar; baz Unknown (named)
6 Foo &#128; baz Disallowed reference
7 Foo &#xD800; baz Prohibited: outside permissible unicode range

function text(value, position)

Text handler.

  • this (*) β€” refers to textContext when given to parseEntities
  • value (string) β€” string of content
  • position (Position) β€” place where value starts and ends

function reference(value, position, source)

Character reference handler.

  • this (*) β€” refers to referenceContext when given to parseEntities
  • value (string) β€” decoded character reference
  • position (Position) β€” place where source starts and ends
  • source (string) β€” raw source of character reference


This package is fully typed with TypeScript. Additional Options, WarningHandler, ReferenceHandler, and TextHandler types are exported that model their respective values.


This package is at least compatible with all maintained versions of Node.js. As of now, that is Node.js 12.20+, 14.14+, and 16.0+. It also works in Deno and modern browsers.


This package is safe: it matches the HTML spec to parse character references.


Yes please! See How to Contribute to Open Source.


MIT Β© Titus Wormer

Parse Entities

Parse HTML character references

Parse Entities Info

⭐ Stars 43
πŸ”— Source Code
πŸ•’ Last Update 5 months ago
πŸ•’ Created 7 years ago
🐞 Open Issues 0
βž— Star-Issue Ratio Infinity
😎 Author wooorm