Many websites use the onselectedtext() method to pop up messages ("Read Aloud" or "Embed Quote") when selecting text on a webpage. I habitually select text to find my place when reading, so this misfeature annoys me. Is there any way to disable Firefox's onselectedtext() support?

Note that Googling the issue is impossible due to 2,890,000 blogs vying to teach aspiring SEOers how to prevent human users from highlighting text on their websites.


I don't know if there can be a generic solution to disable that effect as the way that functionality is implemented on each site can vary.

For example, this implementation shows an alert with selected text when a user selects text as that action is bound to the mouseup event. I was able to disable that effect by writing a bookmarklet that unbinds the mouseup event.

javascript:(function(){ $(document).unbind('mouseup')})();

If the function to trigger an alert/pop up is tied to a specific paragraph or div and that too with a different event, the code will change or complex code to handle all cases would have to be written.

Can you share the URL of the webpage where you would like to see this effect disabled?

  • Thank you mvark. I suppose that you run this bookmarklet on the known-affected site each time that you visit it? One of the pages that is affected is Quora. – dotancohen Sep 7 '14 at 8:37
  • Yes and you can have a custom bookmarklet if you have to deal with a few sites. One aggrieved Quora user has written a Chrome extension that get get rid of Embedded Quotes - qr.ae/UPybz The extension is here - chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/goodbye-quora-embed-butto/… – mvark Sep 7 '14 at 9:27
  • Thanks. I'll see if I can adapt that to Firefox for the general case (not just Quora). – dotancohen Sep 7 '14 at 10:35

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