Understanding the DOM
Before we can traverse the DOM, it's vital to understand what it is. The Document Object Model (DOM) is a programming interface for HTML and XML documents. It represents the structure of a document and allows programs to manipulate the document's structure, style, and content. The nodes of every document are organized in a tree structure, called the DOM tree.
Check out the official Mozilla Developer Network (MDN) documentation for a more in-depth look at the DOM.
Basic DOM Traversal Methods
This property returns the parent node of the specified node, as a Node object.
var element = document.getElementById("demo"); console.log(element.parentNode);
This property returns a NodeList collection of child nodes for the specified node.
var element = document.getElementById("demo"); console.log(element.childNodes);
firstChild property returns the first child node of an element.
var element = document.getElementById("demo"); console.log(element.firstChild);
lastChild property returns the last child node of an element.
var element = document.getElementById("demo"); console.log(element.lastChild);
nextSibling property returns the next node at the same tree level.
var element = document.getElementById("demo"); console.log(element.nextSibling);
previousSibling property returns the previous node at the same tree level.
var element = document.getElementById("demo"); console.log(element.previousSibling);
Now that we've covered the basic methods, let's look at how we can use them in a practical sense. Let's say we have the following HTML structure:
<div id="parent"> <div id="child1">Child 1</div> <div id="child2">Child 2</div> <div id="child3">Child 3</div> </div>
If we want to select
child2 using DOM traversal, we can do so in the following way:
var parent = document.getElementById('parent'); var child2 = parent.firstChild.nextSibling; console.log(child2);
What is the Document Object Model (DOM)?
The Document Object Model (DOM) is a programming interface for HTML and XML documents. It represents the structure of a document and allows programs to manipulate the document's structure, style, and content.
Why do we need to traverse the DOM?
We traverse the DOM to efficiently find and manipulate HTML elements. It allows us to select nodes based on their relationship to other nodes in the DOM tree, without knowing their exact location in the document.
What is a Node in the DOM?
In the DOM, all parts of the document, such as elements, attributes, and text, are organized in a tree structure. Each of these parts is called a "node".
What is the difference between childNodes and children?
childNodes includes all child nodes, including non-element nodes like text and comment nodes. On the other hand,
children only includes child elements.
For more information and practice, check out the official W3Schools DOM tutorial.
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