Learn How to Use DOM Selectors

The Doc Object Mannequin (DOM) is the structural illustration of an HTML doc. The DOM is a tree of nodes that the browser creates for every webpage on the web.

The DOM is object-oriented. Every aspect within the DOM has its personal set of attributes and strategies that you could entry utilizing JavaScript.

On this tutorial article, you’ll discover ways to use DOM selector features to entry parts of a webpage.

The right way to Entry DOM Parts

You may entry the top-level DOM aspect of a webpage by way of the worldwide doc object. For instance, if in case you have an internet web page like the next:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
<meta title="viewport" content material="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">
<title>Doc</title>
</head>
<physique>
<part id="house">
<h1>Welcome</h1>
<p>
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipisicing elit. Tenetur asperiores voluptatum et repellat?
Quae iusto non eligendi hic accusamus itaque ut in delectus sint perspiciatis quos rem a, atque veniam.
</p>
</part>
<part id="about">
<h2>About</h2>
<p>
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipisicing elit. Tenetur asperiores voluptatum et repellat?
Quae iusto non eligendi hic accusamus itaque ut in delectus sint perspiciatis quos rem a, atque veniam.
</p>
</part>
<part id="weblog">
<h2>Articles</h2>
<div class="articles" id="article-1">
<h3>Article Title One</h3>
<p>
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipisicing elit. Tenetur asperiores voluptatum et repellat?
Quae iusto non eligendi hic accusamus itaque ut in delectus sint perspiciatis quos rem a, atque veniam.
</p>
<a href="#"> Learn Extra </a>
</div>
<div class="articles" id="article-2">
<h3>Article Title Two</h3>
<p>
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipisicing elit. Tenetur asperiores voluptatum et repellat?
Quae iusto non eligendi hic accusamus itaque ut in delectus sint perspiciatis quos rem a, atque veniam.
</p>
<a href="#"> Learn Extra </a>
</div>
<div class="articles" id="article-3">
<h3>Article Title Three</h3>
<p>
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipisicing elit. Tenetur asperiores voluptatum et repellat?
Quae iusto non eligendi hic accusamus itaque ut in delectus sint perspiciatis quos rem a, atque veniam.
</p>
<a href="#"> Learn Extra </a>
</div>
<div class="articles" id="article-4">
<h3>Article Title 4</h3>
<p>
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipisicing elit. Tenetur asperiores voluptatum et repellat?
Quae iusto non eligendi hic accusamus itaque ut in delectus sint perspiciatis quos rem a, atque veniam.
</p>
<a href="#"> Learn Extra </a>
</div>
</part>
</physique>
</html>

MAKEUSEOF VIDEO OF THE DAY

Typing doc in your browser console and hitting enter will produce the next output:


Javascript console displaying a typical document object

The output in your console is interactive. You may click on on the head and physique parts to develop them. Doing so will produce the next output:


JavaScript console showing an example document object with head and body open

Every part aspect within the <physique> tag can be expandable. Relying on the construction of an internet web page, the weather will preserve increasing to disclose extra parts. This could provide you with a clearer understanding of the DOM’s construction.

Associated: The Hidden Hero of Web sites: Understanding the DOM

The doc object has a particular property, physique, representing the physique aspect. So, to entry the physique aspect you possibly can kind the next within the console:

doc.physique

This can produce the next output:


JavaScript console showing an example document body node

However that is so far as you possibly can go utilizing object properties. Each web page has a head and a physique however is in any other case distinctive. So typing doc.physique.part or something related will merely not work as you would possibly like. As a substitute, there are strategies that you could name on the doc object to entry particular parts.

What Are DOM Component Selectors?

DOM aspect selectors are a gaggle of JavaScript strategies that you need to use on the doc object to entry parts in an internet web page. DOM aspect selectors have two classes—single and a number of selectors.

These features act in the same method to CSS selectors. They mean you can retrieve parts primarily based on their tag title, or their id and sophistication attributes. You may even fetch parts utilizing any CSS selector.

Associated: The right way to Goal A part of a Internet Web page Utilizing CSS Selectors

The only aspect selectors are:

  • getElementById()
  • querySelector()

The a number of aspect selectors are:

  • getElementsByTagName()
  • getElementsByClassName()
  • querySelectorAll()

The DOM aspect selector you utilize will rely on the aspect(s) that you just’re attempting to realize entry to.

Utilizing Single DOM Component Selectors

You’ll principally see selectors inside JavaScript functions. So, let’s transfer away from the console. Create a JavaScript file and hyperlink it to your HTML file utilizing the next script tag:

<script src="fundamental.js"></script>

The place the src worth is the title of your JavaScript file. Place this script tag simply earlier than your closing physique tag, </physique>.

The getElementById() technique supplies entry to a single aspect on a webpage utilizing the worth of its ID. Within the HTML doc above there are a number of parts with IDs. To focus on the div aspect with the “article-3” ID you possibly can add the next code to your JavaScript file:

worth = doc.getElementById('article-3')

Now the div aspect with the article-3 ID and all its corresponding properties are accessible from the worth variable. You may print the worth variable to the console utilizing the next line of code:

console.log(worth)

You’ll see the category title that’s assigned to the div aspect in addition to different vital attributes, such because the internal HTML.


The opposite single aspect selector is the querySelector(). This perform is extra versatile, as you possibly can cross it any CSS selector string. Nonetheless, you possibly can nonetheless solely use it to pick one aspect at a time.

For instance, there’s a single class within the HTML format above—articles. 4 div parts use this class, however the querySelector() perform will solely return the primary aspect that has the “articles” class.

Utilizing querySelector() With a Class

Add the next code on the finish of your script:

worth = doc.querySelector('.articles')
console.log(worth)

This can solely return the primary div aspect with an “articles” class. Discover that you just specify the selector in the identical format as a CSS selector. In CSS, a number one interval specifies a category title.

Utilizing querySelector() With an ID

worth = doc.querySelector('#article-3')
console.log(worth)

This code will return the one aspect with an “article-3” ID, the third div aspect with an “articles” class. Once more, the selector string makes use of commonplace CSS syntax, with a # image specifying an ID.

Utilizing A number of DOM Component Selectors

The remaining selector features retrieve teams of parts. They’re getElementsByTagName(), getElementsByClassName(), and querySelectorAll().

Utilizing getElementsByTagName()

The getElementsByTagName() selector fetches a gaggle of parts with the identical tag title. For instance, if you wish to choose all of the h2 parts on an internet web page, you need to use the next code:

worth = doc.getElementsByTagName('h2')
console.log(worth)

This shops all of the h2 parts in an HTML assortment known as worth.

Utilizing getElementsByClassName()

The getElementsByClassName() selector returns a group of parts with the identical class title.

worth = doc.getElementsByClassName('articles')
console.log(worth)

Inserting the code above into your JavaScript file will return the 4 div parts with the “articles” class title within the browser console.

Utilizing querySelectorAll()

The querySelectorAll() technique returns a node checklist of all parts that match the given selector. To entry all paragraph parts within the weblog part, you need to use the next code:

worth = doc.querySelectorAll('#weblog p')
console.log(worth)

You may even embrace a number of selectors within the string, separating every with a comma, simply as in CSS:

worth = doc.querySelectorAll('h2, .articles')
console.log(worth)

Use DOM Selectors to Make Dynamic Internet Pages

At this level, you must have a transparent understanding of the DOM and the way it works. You also needs to know the completely different single and a number of selectors, in addition to the best way to use them.

Nonetheless, getting access to HTML parts is barely step one in what you are able to do with DOM selectors. DOM selectors will go a great distance in serving to you develop the useful points of your web site, akin to dealing with onclick and onscroll occasions.


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