Medium-like text selection sharing without dependencies

Usage no npm install needed!

<script type="module">
  import highlightShare from 'https://cdn.skypack.dev/highlight-share';



Medium-like text selection sharing without dependencies

License Type

Demo of highlight share

Demo from the HubSpot blog


This lightweight library allows to create a simple interface to share selected text in a page, in the form of a small popover over the selected portion of text.


  • customizable sharing channels ("sharers")
  • restriction on selected elements
  • customizable CSS classes and stylesheets
  • hooks on opening and closing the popover, and on sharing action

All in a tiny library (less than 1.8 KB minified and gzipped, plus less than 0.5 KB for the optional provided style sheet and 0.5-1.3 KB for the sample sharers).


Via npm:

$ npm install --save highlight-share


After installing, import the library using the module loader of your choice:

// CommonJS
const highlightShare = require('highlight-share');

// ES6
import highlightShare from 'highlight-share';

// AMD
define([ 'highlight-share' ], highlightShare => {
    // ...

// Global
var highlightShare = window.highlightShare;

Import any sharers you need:

import * as twitterSharer from 'highlight-share/dist/sharers/twitter';
import * as facebookSharer from 'highlight-share/dist/sharers/facebook';
import * as emailSharer from 'highlight-share/dist/sharers/email';
import * as copySharer from 'highlight-share/dist/sharers/copy';
import * as linkedInSharer from 'highlight-share/dist/sharers/linked-in';
import * as facebookMessengerSharer from 'highlight-share/dist/sharers/facebook-messenger';

Note that Facebook Messenger also requires a Facebook app ID, for example the abc123 string here:

const messengerShare = new facebookMessengerSharer.FacebookMessenger('abc123');

Create a variable specifying a DOM element selector and an array of your sharers:

const selectionShare = highlightShare({
    selector: '#shareable',
    sharers: [twitterSharer, facebookSharer, emailSharer, linkedInSharer, messengerShare, copySharer]


Note: If the sharers array is empty, nothing will happen.


The options for the highlightShare factory include:

  • document: the Document object to apply the sharing functionality (default: document);
  • popoverClass: the class name (or names) to be used in the root element of the popover (default: highlight-share-popover);
  • selector: restricts the shared text to the contents of the elements matching selector (default: "body");
  • sharers: an array of sharing channels (Twitter, Facebook, email...); see later for details;
  • shareUrl: a reference URL for the shared text (default: the location object of the document property);
  • transformer: a function that transforms the extracted selected text (default: a function that trims and collapses whitespaces);
  • onOpen: a function that gets called when the sharing popover is opened. The popover's element, the transformed selected text and its original version are passed as arguments;
  • onClose: a function that gets called when the sharing popover is closed.

When you're done sharing text, you can call the destroy method;


A destroyed sharing object can not be initialized again.

What is a sharer?

A "sharer" is an object with just one mandatory method: render, that must return the HTML string of the sharing button; and a name property.

Note that Facebook Messenger also requires a Facebook app ID, for example the abc123 string here:

const messengerShare = new facebookMessengerSharer.FacebookMessenger('abc123');

Sharer Functions

render(text, rawText, shareUrl) (mandatory)

This function receives these arguments:

  • text: the text that should be shared;
  • rawText: the original selected text content (i.e., not mangled by the transformer);
  • shareUrl: the reference URL to be shared (see the options).

It must return the HTML of the button/link/element that should provide the required sharing functionality.

name (mandatory)

A unique string (among the sharers) that identifies the sharer (e.g.: "twitter", "facebook", ...).

active(text, rawText) (optional)

This property could actually be a function (with the above signature) or a boolean, stating if the sharer is enabled (true) or not. If it's a function, it should return a truthy or falsy value, with the same meaning.

action(event, item) (optional)

A function to be called when the user clicks/taps on the sharing button. The event's default is not prevented. item is the <li> element that wraps the sharer's button.

Using the sharers

The following are the default basic sharers provided by the package:

Site File location Name Global variable
Twitter dist/sharers/twitter.js twitter highlightShareViaTwitter
Facebook dist/sharers/facebook.js facebook highlightShareViaFacebook
Facebook Messenger dist/sharers/facebook-messenger.js facebook-messenger highlightShareViaFacebookMessenger
LinkedIn dist/sharers/linked-in.js linked-in highlightShareViaLinkedIn
Reddit dist/sharers/reddit.js reddit highlightShareViaReddit
Email dist/sharers/email.js email highlightShareViaEmail
Copy dist/sharers/copy.js copy highlightShareViaCopy

The list of the sharers is also available on the sharers property on the popover element (e.g. passed to the onOpen callback), for dynamic runtime handling.


Mobile devices

On mobile browsers, you might not want to have highlight-share to interfere with native sharing features, so you might want it disabled. In order to it, you might want to do something like this:

if (!window.matchMedia
        || !window.matchMedia('(pointer: coarse)').matches) {

(Why pointer: coarse? If the device's primary pointer is "coarse" — that includes touch devices, but also Kinect and WiiMotes - then the device probably features a native sharing interface. See CanIUse for details about Interaction Media Features. If the browser doesn't support window.matchMedia altogether, then it's probably a PC with a mouse/trackpad, so it's fine to initialize highlight-share.)

Keep in mind that native sharing features let the device do the job, using apps or services installed on it, highlight-share keep this task on the page, meaning it could offer "sharing" capabilities that the device may not have (e.g.: "save to my account's notes" or "pronounce this using voice synthesis"), so you might want to show both native and custom sharing interfaces.

ES2015 (ES6)

This library's source code (that can be found in the src folder) uses ES2015 profusely, including ES2015 module definition and loading. Therefore, at the moment, its modules can't be required without prior transpilation. This also mean that this library is ready for when environments will finally support ES2015 modules. :tada:

The "module" property is defined in package.json for those module loaders that support it. (Rollup, for example, which is also used to bundle the library).

Source files for style sheets are also provided in both LESS and SCSS form.

Browser support

  • Chrome/Opera
  • Firefox 52+ (1)
  • Edge
  • Safari 10+ (2)
  • Internet Explorer 9+


  1. Firefox version 51 and below lacks support of the selectionchange event.
  2. Safari version 9 and below lacks support of the execCommand('copy') event. If you aren't using the copy sharer, Safari support is version 5.1 and above.

To do

  • More tests (with headless browsers)
  • More test coverage
  • Fine-tune Babel
  • Support for JSX in sharers' render method
  • Update ESLint rules to use Airbnb package


MIT @ Liz Shaw 2017-2018. See LICENSE. Project based on share-this.