I'm using the following function to truncate by character count:

            function truncate(str, limit) {
                var chars;
                var i;

                if ( typeof(str) != 'string') {
                    return '';
                chars = str.split('');
                if (chars.length > limit) {
                    for (i = chars.length - 1; i > -1; --i) {
                        if (i > limit) {
                            chars.length = i;
                        }else if (' ' === chars[i]) {
                            chars.length = i;
                return chars.join('');
I found this function in one of the Stack threads and was wondering if it might be possible to retrofit this to do the following:

1.) Check if the second parm is a string. If it is, it's an element.
2.) Check the width of the element and somehow calculate the amount of truncation being done based on it's width.

I think it would boil down to performing a check to verify that it's a string first, but then after that, I'm not sure how character size plays a part nor am I sure how that should be manipulated in regards to the size of the element it's contained in. I'm thinking that you would take the width of the element and then the width of the text and I guess if the text either breaks or is bigger than the allotted width of the container, truncate the text?

If someone could steer me in the right direction, it would be very appreciated.