dom-events event-delegation event-handling javascript

What is DOM Event delegation?


Can anyone please explain event delegation in JavaScript and how is it useful?



Event delegation allows you to avoid adding event listeners to specific nodes; instead, the event listener is added to one parent. That event listener analyzes bubbled events to find a match on child elements.

JavaScript Example :

Let’s say that we have a parent UL element with several child elements:

<ul id="parent-list">
  <li id="post-1">Item 1</li>
  <li id="post-2">Item 2</li>
  <li id="post-3">Item 3</li>
  <li id="post-4">Item 4</li>
  <li id="post-5">Item 5</li>
  <li id="post-6">Item 6</li>

Let’s also say that something needs to happen when each child element is clicked. You could add a separate event listener to each individual LI element, but what if LI elements are frequently added and removed from the list? Adding and removing event listeners would be a nightmare, especially if addition and removal code is in different places within your app. The better solution is to add an event listener to the parent UL element. But if you add the event listener to the parent, how will you know which element was clicked?

Simple: when the event bubbles up to the UL element, you check the event object’s target property to gain a reference to the actual clicked node. Here’s a very basic JavaScript snippet which illustrates event delegation:

// Get the element, add a click listener...
document.getElementById("parent-list").addEventListener("click", function(e) {
  // is the clicked element!
  // If it was a list item
  if( && == "LI") {
    // List item found!  Output the ID!
    console.log("List item ","post-"), " was clicked!");

Start by adding a click event listener to the parent element. When the event listener is triggered, check the event element to ensure it’s the type of element to react to. If it is an LI element, boom: we have what we need! If it’s not an element that we want, the event can be ignored. This example is pretty simple — UL and LI is a straight-forward comparison. Let’s try something more difficult. Let’s have a parent DIV with many children but all we care about is an A tag with the classA CSS class:

// Get the parent DIV, add click listener...
document.getElementById("myDiv").addEventListener("click",function(e) {
// was the clicked element
  if( && == "A") {
    // Get the CSS classes
    var classes =" ");
    // Search for the CSS class!
    if(classes) {
        // For every CSS class the element has...
        for(var x = 0; x < classes.length; x++) {
            // If it has the CSS class we want...
            if(classes[x] == "classA") {
                // Bingo!
                console.log("Anchor element clicked!");
                // Now do something here....



dom event delegation is something different from the computer science definition.

It refers to handling bubbling events from many elements, like table cells, from a parent object, like the table. It can keep the code simpler, especially when adding or removing elements, and saves some memory.