I am new to this, and I am just trying to understand how to use some of the javascript I have learned in different ways. This may be a question of context, but an examples or explanation is always greatly appreciated as I am trying to learn.

I have a CEWP referencing a text file in a document library that contains the following script. This works for alerts, but I am trying to use a document.write to display the results within the CEWP.

<script type="text/javascript">


function loadScript()
    ExecuteOrDelayUntilScriptLoaded(findUser, 'sp.js');

function findUser() 
cxt = new SP.ClientContext.get_current(); 
web = cxt.get_web(); 
this._currentUser = web.get_currentUser(); 
cxt.executeQueryAsync(Function.createDelegate(this, this.onSuccessMethod), 
Function.createDelegate(this, this.onFailureMethod)); 

function onSuccessMethod(sender, args) 

alert('Welcome ' + this._currentUser.get_title()); 


function onFaiureMethod(sender, args) 
alert('request failed ' + args.get_message() + '\n' + args.get_stackTrace()); 


So the above works (though probably wouldn't use it since it displays welcome everytime the page loads), but I am still learning and used it to help figure out the syntax/etc and I need something like a document.write to write the value back into the CEWP. I can't seem to figure out how to use that and call any of the functions and get a value returned, and tried a bunch of things that probably don't make sense (I tried adding document.write inside the function and I got the value back, but none of the rest of the page). So I really looking for some help understanding javascript and using SP.ClientContext in this way.

EDIT: Basically how can I set a value in a variable within the onSuccessMethod and return that back out of the functions to a global var? This would allow me to accomplish exactly what I am trying to do. If I simply try to create a global list this

var myOutput = loadScript();

and set this inside onSuccessMethod:

myOutput = "Welcome " + this._currentUser.get_title());
return myOutput;

...I can set an alert in the middle of the above and see that myOutput holds the message value perfectly, but myOuput outside of these functions still reflects undefined. I have tried initializing it first, passing/accepting var as param through scriptLoader and findUser, and a bunch of other simple things, but I fear there is something about this I am simply misunderstanding.

Any/all helps is greatly appreciated as always!

2 Answers 2


You cannot return a value from an async function. Think so: what do you want do do with "myOutput"? Render it in a div? Then just put Andy Burns' code into your "onSuccessMethod". If you have multiple CEWPs and scripts inside them, you have to distinguish the javascript code inside them, and onSuccess functions have to be different. A solution could be to use a task prefix, like


Your divs must have different ids as well.

  • thanks for the explanation! i was unaware of the async context, and after reading a bit about it i see the issue. so thanks for pointing that out.
    – Justin
    Jun 14, 2012 at 17:49

Why not put an HTML element into your CEWP:

<div id="myDiv" />

and instead of document.write(), use something like:

document.getElementById("myDiv").innerText = "my message";

Note that this might have problems with multiple instances of the web part on one page (i.e. multiple elements with id 'myDiv')

  • @Andy...thanks for your reply. I actually have used that approach in SPD, and your note is exactly why I am trying to get away from that. I have the same type of script that pulls data from a list and inserts a table into a div tag, the problem i have it is not contained within a container like a webpart, so if I have multiple instances of this type of script/queries, it all runs together, if that makes sense?
    – Justin
    Jun 12, 2012 at 16:50

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