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XML DOM lastChild Property

❮ Document Object


The following code fragment loads "books.xml" into xmlDoc and displays the node name and node type of the last child node of the document:

var xhttp = new XMLHttpRequest();
xhttp.onreadystatechange = function() {
   if (this.readyState == 4 && this.status == 200) {
xhttp.open("GET", "books.xml", true);

// Check if the last node is an element node
function get_lastchild(n) {
    var x = n.lastChild;
    while (x.nodeType != 1) {
        x = x.previousSibling;
    return x;

function myFunction(xml) {
    var xmlDoc = xml.responseXML;
    var x = get_lastchild(xmlDoc);
    document.getElementById("demo").innerHTML =
    "Nodename: " + x.nodeName +
    " (nodetype: " + x.nodeType + ")<br>";

The output of the code above will be:

Nodename: bookstore (nodetype: 1)
Try it Yourself »

Definition and Usage

The lastChild property returns the last child node of the document.



Tips and Notes

Note: Firefox, and most other browsers, will treat empty white-spaces or new lines as text nodes, Internet Explorer will not. So, in the example below, we have a function that checks the node type of the last child node.

Element nodes has a nodeType of 1, so if the last child node is not an element node, it moves to the previous node, and checks if this node is an element node. This continues until the last child node (which must be an element node) is found. This way, the result will be correct in all browsers.

Tip: To read more about the differences between browsers, visit our DOM Browsers chapter in our XML DOM Tutorial.

Try-It-Yourself Demos

Get the first child node of the document

❮ Document Object