How To Traverse the DOM


The past guide inside show, just how to Access Elements in DOM, covers utilizing the integral types of the document item to gain access to HTML elements by ID, course, label title, and question selectors. We understand your DOM is organized as a tree of nodes because of the document node at root and each other node (including elements, remarks, and text nodes) because the different branches.

Often, you should undertake the DOM without indicating every single element ahead of time. Learning how exactly to navigate along the DOM move and tree from branch to branch is vital to learning how to utilize JavaScript and HTML.

In this guide, we are going to look at how exactly to traverse the DOM (also called walking or navigating the DOM) with moms and dad, kid, and properties that are sibling


To start, we are going to produce a file that is new nodes.html comprised of the code that is following


<!DOCTYPE html>

  <title>Learning About Nodes</title>

    * { border: 2px solid #dedede; padding: 15px; margin: 15px; }
    {html { margin:|Html margin that is{} 0; padding: 0; }
    human anatomy { max-width: 600px; font-family: sans-serif; color: #333; }

  <h1>Shark World</h1>
  <p>The planet's leading supply on <strong>shark</strong> associated information.</p>
  <h2>Types of Sharks</h2>
    <li>Great White</li>

  const h1 = document.getElementsByTagName('h1')[0];
  const p = document.getElementsByTagName('p')[0];
  const ul = document.getElementsByTagName('ul')[0];


once we load the file in a browser, we will see rendering that seems like the screenshot that is following

nodes.html page

In this instance web site, we’ve an HTML document with a elements that are few. Some CSS that is basic has added in a style label to help make each element clearly noticeable, and some factors have already been developed in script for easy access of some elements. While there is just one of every h1, p, and ul, we could access the index that is first each particular getElementsByTagName home.

Root Nodes

The document item could be the reason behind every node in DOM. This item is home for the window item, which can be the worldwide, top-level item representing a tab in web browser. The window item has use of information that is such the toolbar, height and width for the screen, prompts, and alerts. The document is made of what’s within the internal window.

Below is a chart composed of the basis elements that each document will include. Regardless if a HTML that is blank file packed into a browser, these three nodes will likely be added and parsed to the DOM.

Property Node Node Type
document #document DOCUMENT_NODE
document.documentElement html ELEMENT_NODE
document.head head ELEMENT_NODE
document.body body ELEMENT_NODE

Since the html, head, and body elements are incredibly typical, they’ve their very own properties regarding the document.

Open the Console in DevTools and test each one of these four properties by publishing them and viewing the production. You are able to test h1, p, and ul that may get back the current weather as a result of the factors we included in script label.

Parent Nodes

The nodes in DOM are called moms and dads, kiddies, and siblings, dependent on their reference to other nodes. The parent of any node could be the node that’s one degree above it, or nearer to the document in DOM hierarchy. There are two main properties for the moms and dad — parentNode and parentElement.

In our nodes.html instance:

  • html could be the moms and dad of head, body, and script.
  • body could be the moms and dad of h1, h2, p and ul, although not li, since li is two amounts down from body.

We can test exactly what the moms and dad of our p element has been the parentNode home. This p adjustable originates from our customized document.getElementsByTagName('p')[0] statement.


► <body>...</body>

The moms and dad of p is body, but just how can we have the grandparent, which can be two amounts above? We could do this by chaining properties together.


► <html>...</html>

Using parentNode two times, we retrieved the grandparent of p.

There are properties to recover the moms and dad of a node, but just one difference that is small them, as demonstrated inside snippet below.

  • // Assign html item to html adjustable
  • const html = document.documentElement;
  • console.log(html.parentNode); // > #document
  • console.log(html.parentElement); // > null

The moms and dad of just about any node is a component node, as text and remarks may not be moms and dads to many other nodes. But the moms and dad of html is a document node, therefore parentElement comes back null. Generally speaking, parentNode is additionally utilized whenever traversing the DOM.

Children Nodes

The children of a node will be the nodes being one degree below it. Any nodes beyond one degree of nesting are called descendants.

The childNodes home will get back a list that is live of kid of a node. You could expect the ul element for three li elements. Let us test exactly what it retrieves.


► (7) [text, li, text, li, text, li, text]

In addition towards three li elements, in addition gets four text nodes. This really is it was not generated by JavaScript) and the indentation between elements is counted in the DOM as text nodes because we wrote our own HTML. This isn't intuitive, because the Elements tab of DevTools strips out white room nodes.

(it would fail because the first node is text.

If we attempted to change the background color of the first child node using the firstChild property,***********)

  • = 'yellow';


  • Uncaught TypeError: Cannot set home 'background' of undefined

The children, firstElementChild and lastElementChild properties occur in these circumstances to recover just the element nodes. ul.children is only going to get back the 3 li elements.

Using firstElementChild, we could replace the color that is background of very first li in ul.

  • = 'yellow';

whenever you operate the rule above, your website will likely be updated to change the back ground color. modification

whenever doing DOM that is basic such as in this example, the element-specific properties are extremely helpful. The properties that select all nodes are more likely to be used, as white-space newlines and indentation will not exist in this case.( in javaScript-generated web apps***********)

A for...of cycle enables you to iterate through all children elements.

  • for (allow part of ul.children) {
  • = 'yellow';
  • }

Now, each young one element could have a background that is yellow

children elements modification

Since our p element has both text and elements inside it, the childNodes home is useful for accessing that information.

  • for (allow part of p.childNodes) {
  • system.log(element);
  • }


"The world's leading source on " <strong>​shark​</strong>​ " related information."

childNodes and children cannot get back arrays with all the current Array properties and techniques, nevertheless they look and act much like JavaScript arrays. You are able to access nodes by index quantity, or find their length home.

  • document.body.children[3] = 'fuchsia';

The above rule will see the element that is last (li) for the 4th kid element (ul) of body and use a mode.

last child element modification

Using moms and dad and kid properties, it is possible to recover any node in DOM.

Sibling Nodes

The siblings of a node are any node regarding the tree that is same in the DOM. Siblings do not have to be the type that is same of - text, element, and remark nodes could all be siblings.

Sibling properties work the way that is same the children nodes, in that there is a set of properties to traverse all nodes, and a set of properties for only element nodes. previousSibling and nextSibling will get the node that is next straight away precedes or follows the specified node, and previousElementSibling and nextElementSibling is only going to get element nodes.

In our nodes.html instance, let us choose the element that is middle of*********)ul.

  • const tiger =****) that is ul.children(

Since we created our DOM from scratch rather than as a web that is javaScript, we are going to must utilize the element sibling properties to gain access to the earlier and next element nodes, as there was white room in DOM.

  • = 'coral';
  • = 'aquamarine';

Running this rule needs used coral towards history of Hammerhead and aquamarine towards history of Great White.

sibling element modification

Sibling properties is chained together, similar to moms and dad and node properties.


In this guide, we covered how exactly to access the basis nodes of each and every HTML document and exactly how to walk the DOM tree through moms and dad, kid, and properties that are sibling

With everything discovered in just how to Access Elements in DOM which guide, you ought to be capable confidently access any node in DOM of any web site.

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