I use FF27 with noscript, but solutions for Chrome are also welcome.

I use online chat for customer support when available, and I'd like to keep the chat transcript in case of a dispute with the provider. My credit card provider has such a chat interface, but has disabled copying the text - using javascript I assume (is there another way?). I have no knowledge of JS, but I notice that when I select text, the selection vanishes at the next event (such as click or after some time), I could find no way to bring up the context menu and ctrl-c has no effect. I'd like to circumvent that with minimal impact on other pages. I'd rather not install extensions.

FF used to have an option in the settings UI to disable certain javascript features, but it was removed. I've found about:config settings that disable JS overriding the context menu, and disable clipboard events - but both of those are global and the former will probably mess sites like Google Docs too much for my taste. I haven't looked at what Chrome has to offer in terms of non-UI settings. I couldn't find any fine-grained JS control on NoScript, but I assume it's possible to filter out the JS code that disables copying text.

  • 1
    Can you view the source of the webpage? If so, it may be present in there?
    – Dave
    Jan 22, 2014 at 9:13
  • Will the text typed by myself and the service rep be present in the source?
    – Yonatan
    Jan 22, 2014 at 12:36
  • It's hard to know really - it depends on how the site is set up etc
    – Dave
    Jan 22, 2014 at 13:50

7 Answers 7


In Chrome or any of the popular modern browsers, open Developer Tools by clicking F12 and then click on the magnifying glass icon (or equivalent icon in other browsers) to turn on inspect mode. Move to the content within the web page and point to the specific portion of text that you want to copy. The HTML code corresponding to the pointed area will appear in the docked Dev Tools window. Double click on the HTML code to copy the content you need.

Alternatively, you can save the page as a text file in Internet Explorer and then you can get just the text within the web page in the text file. In IE, choose File > Save As and in the dialog box that opens up, specify the Save as type as Text file.


If you're worried about disputes with the provider, then a simple text log might not be very good evidence. Unless there's some way to verify the text was actually from the website chat you claim it did, they could easily argue that it's not real.

You might want to use screenshots instead. Simply hit the "Print Screen" key on your keyboard and then open a graphics program like MSPAINT and paste. You can also use a word processing program like Microsoft Word or even WORDPAD that still comes with Windows and paste it in there.

If there's more text than fits on one screen, do it in steps and take more screenshots. One good thing with the screenshots is that you'll have the full image of the webpage showing the text of the support chat is really coming from their website and representative.

  • 2
    Of course even a screenshot could be claimed to be a forgery; however, as it would take more effort to create a convincing fake screenshot than a fake text log, the screenshot does add some credibility.
    – robartsd
    Feb 18, 2015 at 22:39

Open browser's console (CTRL + Shift + J), and enter the following command:

document.onselectstart = null

  • This only works if onselectstart is applied to the document, not any specific element
    – Jon
    Feb 14, 2018 at 20:54

My answer was here: How do websites block selecting text and how do I unblock that?

I post this because that answer on this site does not come up on a search for "copy and paste" nor "clipboard" which is often how a user (say, eg, me) might search for it.

In my case it was a CSS property -moz-user-select in a style attribute on a tag in the page source.

But any of the user-select CSS property variants may be the culprit for you.


Type the following in the url of your Google browser:


It should enable the right-click feature and hence you can copy the text.


If you use Firefox, try opening about:config and setting dom.event.clipboardevents.enabled to false. This also works for sites which use obnoxious services like Tynt to alter the text you copy to add marketing copy.

dom.event.clipboardevents.enabled lets websites get notifications if the user copies, pastes, or cuts something from a web page, and it lets them know which part of the page had been selected. The emitting of the oncopy, oncut and onpaste events are controlled by this preference.


  • This also allows you to paste things (some websites don't allow you to paste in input fields for ex).
    – user276648
    Jul 18, 2017 at 3:08

Since you don't know how it's preventing you from copying it (ie, if it is the javascript or not), I have to guess.

One option is that it's done with styles.

(1) Turn off styles for the page temporarily. You can do this from the View menu.

Tap the Alt key if needed to display the classic menu bar

View menu > Page Style > No Style

Scroll down past all the menus and headings and copy at will.

(2) Use custom style rules to alter the page on each visit. Someone would need to develop this for you, and then you could add them to a file named userContent.css or use the Stylish extension.

(3) Use a script or add-on to alter the page on demand or automatically on each visit. Again, someone would need to create this and then describe how to implement it.


You could try and right click, View Source and see if the content is in there (you can use CTRL+F to search for a word you used in the conversation).

Normally, copying works, but you've tried this. I leave it in for completeness regardless. If you can highlight the text, you could try the keyboard shortcut to copy and paste CTRL+C. Failing this, it may be possible to drag the content into a word processor. Failing this, it may be possible to drag the content into a word processor.

If you can't select the text, try to copy the entire page using CTRL+A and then CTRL+C.

You may find a thrid party plugin, I suggest a Google search for something like "firefox plugin copy content"

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