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HTML DOM addEventListener() Method

❮ Document Object


Attach a click event to the document. When the user clicks anywhere in the document, output "Hello World" in a <p> element with id="demo":

document.addEventListener("click", function(){
  document.getElementById("demo").innerHTML = "Hello World";
Try it Yourself »

More "Try it Yourself" examples below.

Definition and Usage

The document.addEventListener() method attaches an event handler to the document.

Tip: Use the document.removeEventListener() method to remove an event handler that has been attached with the addEventListener() method.

Tip: Use the element.addEventListener() method to attach an event handler to a specified element.

Browser Support

The numbers in the table specify the first browser version that fully supports the method.

addEventListener() 1.0 9.0 1.0 1.0 7.0

Note: The addEventListener() method is not supported in Internet Explorer 8 and earlier versions, and Opera 6.0 and earlier versions. However, for these specific browser versions, you can use the attachEvent() method to attach event handlers (see "More Examples" below for a cross-browser solution).


document.addEventListener(event, function, useCapture)

Parameter Values

Parameter Description
event Required. A String that specifies the name of the event.

Note: Do not use the "on" prefix. For example, use "click" instead of "onclick".

For a list of all HTML DOM events, look at our complete HTML DOM Event Object Reference.
function Required. Specifies the function to run when the event occurs.

When the event occurs, an event object is passed to the function as the first parameter. The type of the event object depends on the specified event. For example, the "click" event belongs to the MouseEvent object.
useCapture Optional. A Boolean value that specifies whether the event should be executed in the capturing or in the bubbling phase.

Possible values:
  • true - The event handler is executed in the capturing phase
  • false- Default. The event handler is executed in the bubbling phase

Technical Details

DOM Version: DOM Level 2 Events
Return Value: No return value
Changelog: The useCapture parameter became optional in Firefox 6 and Opera 11.60 (has always been optional for Chrome, IE and Safari)

More Examples


You can also refer to an external "named" function:

document.addEventListener("click", myFunction);

function myFunction() {
  document.getElementById("demo").innerHTML = "Hello World";
Try it Yourself »


You can add many events to the document, without overwriting existing events.

This example demonstrates how to add two click events to the document:

document.addEventListener("click", myFunction);
document.addEventListener("click", someOtherFunction);
Try it Yourself »


You can add events of different types to the document.

This example demonstrates how to add many events to the document:

document.addEventListener("mouseover", myFunction);
document.addEventListener("click", someOtherFunction);
document.addEventListener("mouseout", someOtherFunction);
Try it Yourself »


When passing parameter values, use an "anonymous function" that calls the specified function with the parameters:

document.addEventListener("click", function() {
  myFunction(p1, p2);
Try it Yourself »


Change the background color of the document's <body> element:

document.addEventListener("click", function(){ = "red";
Try it Yourself »


Using the removeEventListener() method to remove an event handler that has been attached with the addEventListener() method:

// Attach an event handler to the document
document.addEventListener("mousemove", myFunction);

// Remove the event handler from the document
document.removeEventListener("mousemove", myFunction);
Try it Yourself »


For browsers that don't support the addEventListener() method, you can use the attachEvent() method.

This example demonstrates a cross-browser solution:

if (document.addEventListener) {                // For all major browsers, except IE 8 and earlier
  document.addEventListener("click", myFunction);
} else if (document.attachEvent) {              // For IE 8 and earlier versions
  document.attachEvent("onclick", myFunction);
Try it Yourself »

Related Pages

JavaScript Tutorial: HTML DOM EventListener

HTML DOM Reference: element.addEventListener()

❮ Document Object