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Simple Javascript Object Dump Function

In my years of doing Web development, I’ve written this function several times over; however, I can NEVER find the code when I need it!  Thus, here is a simple Javascript function to dump the contents of any object (posted to share, but also for my own permanent reference!)

var MAX_DUMP_DEPTH = 10;

function dumpObj(obj, name, indent, depth) {
  if (depth > MAX_DUMP_DEPTH) {
    return indent + name + ": <Maximum Depth Reached>\n";

  if (typeof obj == "object") {
    var child = null;

    var output = indent + name + "\n";

    indent += "\t";

    for (var item in obj) {
      try {
        child = obj[item];
      } catch (e) {
        child = "<Unable to Evaluate>";

      if (typeof child == "object") {
        output += dumpObj(child, item, indent, depth + 1);
      } else {
        output += indent + item + ": " + child + "\n";

    return output;
  } else {
    return obj;

This will spit out the contents of the object (and nested objects) to an indented string, which is useful when trying to inspect the contents of DOM, etc.  Note that a recursive method like this can be dangerous, so I’ve included a maximum depth flag, MAX_DUMP_DEPTH, to ensure your browser doesn’t get locked up in an infinite nested loop.


This article is part of the GWB Archives. Original Author: Scott Van Vliet

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