Learn how to convert a list into an array in JavaScript

Learn how to convert a list into an array in JavaScript

Chris Bongers
Β·Aug 26, 2020Β·

2 min read

🚨 Real-world use-case: I wanted to convert an excel list into an array; it had 200+ records, so a pain to do manually.

So why not create something easy in JavaScript!

The end goal is to have a textarea where we can input our list and auto-convert it into an array.

This is going to be the result in Codepen:

HTML Structure

The HTML is going to be super easy for this, we just need a textarea and a paragraph to output our array.

<div class="container">
  <textarea id="textarea">
  <p id="array">["Paste","your ","list ","here"]</p>

CSS Styling

Let's also add some super easy CSS to make it look good:

.container {
  display: flex;
  align-items: center;
  justify-content: center;
  height: 100vh;
  flex-direction: column;
  background: #3a86ff;
textarea {
  padding: 10px;
  min-width: 200px;
  width: 50vw;
  height: 100px;
  margin-bottom: 10px;
  border-radius: 10px;
#array {
  background: #efefef;
  border: 1px dashed #333;
  padding: 10px;
  width: 50vw;
  min-width: 200px;
  word-wrap: break-word;
  margin-bottom: 10px;
  color: #ff006e;
  border-radius: 10px;

JavaScript convert a list into an array

Ok, on to the magic part, let's convert our array input into an array.

We start by adding defining our variables

const textarea = document.getElementById('textarea');
const array = document.getElementById('array');

Now we can add our input listener to the textarea element

textarea.addEventListener('input', function() {
  var arrayValues = textarea.value.split(/\n/g);
  array.innerHTML = JSON.stringify(arrayValues);

And then for some magic we will add a click event to our paragraph which will auto select all text.

array.addEventListener('click', function() {
  var range = document.createRange();
  var selection = window.getSelection();

An awesome, simple tool, but effective!

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