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JavaScript HTML DOM Elements (Nodes)


Adding and Removing Nodes (HTML Elements)


Creating New HTML Elements (Nodes)

To add a new element to the HTML DOM, you must create the element (element node) first, and then append it to an existing element.

 Example

<div id="div1">
<p id="p1">This is a paragraph.</p>
<p id="p2">This is another paragraph.</p>
</div>

<script>
var para = document.createElement("p");
var node = document.createTextNode("This is new.");
para.appendChild(node);

var element = document.getElementById("div1");
element.appendChild(para);
</script>

Try it Yourself »


Example Explained 

This code creates a new <p> element:

var para = document.createElement("p");

To add text to the <p> element, you must create a text node first. This code creates a text node:

var node = document.createTextNode("This is a new paragraph.");

Then you must append the text node to the <p> element:

para.appendChild(node);

Finally you must append the new element to an existing element.

This code finds an existing element:

var element = document.getElementById("div1");

This code appends the new element to the existing element:

element.appendChild(para);


Creating new HTML Elements - insertBefore()

The appendChild() method in the previous example, appended the new element as the last child of the parent.

If you don't want that you can use the insertBefore() method:

 Example

<div id="div1">
<p id="p1">This is a paragraph.</p>
<p id="p2">This is another paragraph.</p>
</div>

<script>
var para = document.createElement("p");
var node = document.createTextNode("This is new.");
para.appendChild(node);

var element = document.getElementById("div1");
var child = document.getElementById("p1");
element.insertBefore(para,child);
</script>

Try it Yourself »


Removing Existing HTML Elements

To remove an HTML element, you must know the parent of the element:

Example

<div id="div1">
<p id="p1">This is a paragraph.</p>
<p id="p2">This is another paragraph.</p>
</div>

<script>
var parent = document.getElementById("div1");
var child = document.getElementById("p1");
parent.removeChild(child);
</script>

Try it Yourself »


Example Explained 

This HTML document contains a <div> element with two child nodes (two <p> elements):

<div id="div1">
<p id="p1">This is a paragraph.</p>
<p id="p2">This is another paragraph.</p>
</div>

Find the element with id="div1":

var parent = document.getElementById("div1");

Find the <p> element with id="p1":

var child = document.getElementById("p1");

Remove the child from the parent:

parent.removeChild(child);

Note It would be nice to be able to remove an element without referring to the parent.
But sorry. The DOM needs to know both the element you want to remove, and its parent.

Here is a common workaround: Find the child you want to remove, and use its parentNode property to find the parent:

var child = document.getElementById("p1");
child.parentNode.removeChild(child);


Replacing HTML Elements 

To replace an element to the HTML DOM, use the replaceChild() method:

Example

<div id="div1">
<p id="p1">This is a paragraph.</p>
<p id="p2">This is another paragraph.</p>
</div>

<script>
var para = document.createElement("p");
var node = document.createTextNode("This is new.");
para.appendChild(node);

var parent = document.getElementById("div1");
var child = document.getElementById("p1");
parent.replaceChild(para,child);
</script>

Try it Yourself »



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