event.target

event.target Returns: Element

Description: The DOM element that initiated the event.

  • version added: 1.0event.target

This can be the element that registered for the event or a child of it. It is often useful to compare event.target to this in order to determine if the event is being handled due to event bubbling. This property is very useful in event delegation, when events bubble.

Examples:

Example: Display the tag's name on click

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
  <style>
span, strong, p { 
  padding: 8px; display: block; border: 1px solid #999;  }
    </style>
  <script src="http://code.jquery.com/jquery-latest.js"></script>
</head>
<body>
	
<div id="log"></div>
<div>
  <p>
    <strong><span>click</span></strong>
  </p>
</div>
<script>$("body").click(function(event) {
  $("#log").html("clicked: " + event.target.nodeName);
});  </script>
</body>
</html>

Demo:

Example: Implements a simple event delegation: The click handler is added to an unordered list, and the children of its li children are hidden. Clicking one of the li children toggles (see toggle()) their children.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
  <script src="http://code.jquery.com/jquery-latest.js"></script>
</head>
<body>
	
<ul>
  <li>item 1
    <ul>
      <li>sub item 1-a</li>
      <li>sub item 1-b</li>
    </ul>
  </li>
  <li>item 2
    <ul>
      <li>sub item 2-a</li>
      <li>sub item 2-b</li>
    </ul>
  </li>  
</ul>
<script>function handler(event) {
  var $target = $(event.target);
  if( $target.is("li") ) {
    $target.children().toggle();
  }
}
$("ul").click(handler).find("ul").hide();</script>
</body>
</html>

Demo: