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Types of selection

Lexical's selection is part of the EditorState. This means that for every update, or change to the editor, the selection always remains consistent with that of the EditorState's node tree.

In Lexical, there are four types of selection possible:

  • RangeSelection
  • NodeSelection
  • GridSelection
  • null


This is the most common type of selection, and is a normalization of the browser's DOM Selection and Range APIs. RangeSelection consists of three main properties:

  • anchor representing a RangeSelection point
  • focus representing a RangeSelection point
  • format numeric bitwise flag, representing any active text formats

Both the anchor and focus points refer to an object that represents a specific part of the editor. The main properties of a RangeSelection point are:

  • key representing the NodeKey of the selected Lexical node
  • offset representing the position from within its selected Lexical node. For the text type this is the character, and for the element type this is the child index from within the ElementNode
  • type representing either element or text.


NodeSelection represents a selection of multiple arbitrary nodes. For example, three images selected at the same time.

  • getNodes() returns an array containing the selected LexicalNodes


GridSelection represents a grid-like selection like tables. It stores the key of the parent node where the selection takes place and the start and end points. GridSelection consists of three main properties:

  • gridKey representing the parent node key where the selection takes place
  • anchor representing a GridSelection point
  • focus reprensenting a GridSelection point

For example, a table where you select row = 1 col = 1 to row 2 col = 2 could be stored as follows:

  • gridKey = 2 table key
  • anchor = 4 table cell (key may vary)
  • focus = 10 table cell (key may vary)

Note that anchor and focus points work the same way as RangeSelection.


This is for when the editor doesn't have any active selection. This is common for when the editor has been blurred or when selection has moved to another editor on the page. This can also happen when trying to select non-editable components within the editor space.

Working with selection

Selection can be found using the $getSelection() helper, exported from the lexical package. This function can be used within an update, a read, or a command listener.

import {$getSelection, SELECTION_CHANGE_COMMAND} from 'lexical';

editor.update(() => {
const selection = $getSelection();
}); => {
const selection = $getSelection();

// SELECTION_CHANGE_COMMAND fires when selection changes within a Lexical editor.
editor.registerCommand(SELECTION_CHANGE_COMMAND, () => {
const selection = $getSelection();

In some cases you might want to create a new type of selection and set the editor selection to be that. This can only be done in update or command listeners.

import {$setSelection, $createRangeSelection, $createNodeSelection} from 'lexical';

editor.update(() => {
// Set a range selection
const rangeSelection = $createRangeSelection();

// You can also indirectly create a range selection, by calling some of the selection
// methods on Lexical nodes.
const someNode = $getNodeByKey(someKey);

// On element nodes, this will create a RangeSelection with type "element",
// referencing an offset relating to the child within the element.
// On text nodes, this will create a RangeSelection with type "text",
// referencing the text character offset.;

// You can use this on any node.

// Set a node selection
const nodeSelection = $createNodeSelection();
// Add a node key to the selection.

// You can also clear selection by setting it to `null`.