Dollar sign ($) in JavaScript

Dollar sign ($) in JavaScript

In javascript, the dollar ($) sign is not considered a special symbol unlike most of the other programming languages. In this article, we will know the way exactly the dollar sign is used in javascript and what functionalities it provides.

$ – dollar identifier

The dollar ($) sign is a JavaScript identifier, which simply means that it identifies an object in the same way that a name or variable does. Variables, functions, properties, events, and objects can be identified by the $ sign.

Because of this, the $ symbol is not used in the same manner as other special symbols. Although JavaScript treats $ as an alphabetic character, that’s why it can be used as a variable name also in javascript.

$() – dollar function

The dollar sign ($) is also used as a shortcut to the function document.getElementById(). The $ is being used as an alternative since this function references a DOM element if we pass an element’s id and now is used frequently in JavaScript to serve the purpose.

It’s not mandatory to use the $ sign for this purpose. However, it has become a convention for frequent use.

Now, even more, libraries offer their implementations of the $() function. Many now suggest in the javascript community the option to disable that definition to prevent conflicts.

Although, using $ does not require using a library. All you have to do is swap document.getElementById() for $(). The purpose of getElementById() and add the following definition of the $() function to your code:

function $(x) { return document.getElementById(x); }
Code language: JavaScript (javascript)

However, in ECMAScript 6 (ES6) the $ may represent a Template Literal, just like we use just {} in python f-strings we use ${} in javascript to indicate a placeholder for variables.

let user = 'Bob' console.log(`We love ${user}.`);
Code language: JavaScript (javascript)


Conclusively, in JavaScript $ sign is used as an identifier, a function that replicates document.getElementById() and a string/template literal. I hope through this article I was able to explain the use cases of the dollar signs in javascript.

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