Here’s a small extension to $ that programmatically selects the text beneath a jQuery object.  It works cross-browser.

$.fn.selectText = function() {
	    var target = $(this);
		var node = target.get(0);
		if (!!node) {
	    	if (document.body.createTextRange) {
		        var range = document.body.createTextRange();
		        range.moveToElementText(node);
		        range.select();
		    } else if (window.getSelection) {
		        var selection = window.getSelection();
		        var range = document.createRange();
		        range.selectNodeContents(node);
		        selection.removeAllRanges();
		        selection.addRange(range);
		    }
		}
	}

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