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Vue 'ref' Attribute


Example

Using the ref attribute to change the text inside the <p> tag:

<div id="app">
  <p ref="pEl">Initial text.</p>
  <button v-on:click="changeText">Change text</button>
</div>

<script src="https://unpkg.com/vue@3/dist/vue.global.js"></script>
<script type="module">
  const app = Vue.createApp({
    methods: {
      changeText(){
        this.$refs.pEl.innerHTML = "Hello!";
      }
    }
  })
  app.mount('#app')
</script>
Try it Yourself »

See more examples below.


Definition and Usage

The ref attribute is used to mark elements in <template>, so that they can be accessed from the $refs object inside <script>.

We can use the ref attribute and the $refs object in Vue as an alternative to methods in plain JavaScript like getElementById() or querySelector().

If HTML elements created with v-for have the ref attribute, the resulting DOM elements will be added to the $refs object as an array, like demonstrated in this example:

Example

<ul>
  <li v-for="x in liTexts" ref="liEl">{{ x }}</li>
</ul>
Run Example »

More Examples

Example 1

The text inside a <p> element is changed.

<template>
  <h1>Example</h1>
  <p>Click the button to put "Hello!" as the text in the green p element.</p>
  <button @click="changeVal">Change Text</button><br>
  <p ref="pEl" id="pEl">This is the initial text</p>
</template>

<script>
  export default {
    methods: {
      changeVal() { 
        this.$refs.pEl.innerHTML = "Hello!";
      }
    }
  };
</script>

<style>
#pEl {
  background-color: lightgreen;
  display: inline-block;
}
</style>
Run Example »

Example 2

The text from the first <p> tag is copied into the second <p> tag.

<template>
  <h1>Example</h1>
  <p ref="p1">Click the button to copy this text into the paragraph below.</p>
  <button @click="transferText">Transfer text</button>
  <p ref="p2">...</p>
</template>

<script>
  export default {
    methods: {
      transferText() { 
        this.$refs.p2.innerHTML = this.$refs.p1.innerHTML;
      }
    }
  };
</script>
Run Example »

Example 3

A <p> element gets the same content as what's being written in the input field.

<template>
  <h1>Example</h1>
  <p>Start writing inside the input element, and the text will be copied into the last paragraph by the use of the '$refs' object.</p>
  <input ref="inputEl" @input="getRefs" placeholder="Write something..">
  <p ref="pEl"></p>
</template>

<script>
  export default {
    methods: {
      getRefs() { 
        this.$refs.pEl.innerHTML = this.$refs.inputEl.value;
      }
    }
  };
</script>
Run Example »

Example 4

The button reveals the the third list element stored as an array element inside the $refs object.

<template>
  <h1>Example</h1>
  <p>Click the button to reveal the 3rd list element stored as an array element in the $refs object.</p>
  <button @click="getValue">Get the 3rd list element</button><br>
  <ul>
    <li v-for="x in liTexts" ref="liEl">{{ x }}</li>
  </ul>
  <pre>{{ thirdEl }}</pre>
</template>

<script>
  export default {
    data() {
      return {
        thirdEl: ' ',
        liTexts: ['Apple','Banana','Kiwi','Tomato','Lichi']
      }
    },
    methods: {
      getValue() { 
        this.thirdEl = this.$refs.liEl[2].innerHTML;
        console.log("this.$refs.liEl = ",this.$refs.liEl);
      }
    }
  };
</script>

<style>
pre {
  background-color: lightgreen;
  display: inline-block;
}
</style>
Run Example »

Related Pages

Vue Tutorial: Vue Template Refs

Vue Tutorial: Vue v-for Directive

Vue Reference: Vue $refs Object


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