Event Listeners

The most preferred and recommended way of dealing with javascript events is to use event listeners. These event listeners were introduced in ECMA 5. Thus all modern web browsers support them (Except I.E 8 and below). To use event listeners, we use addEventListener() function to add event, and removeEventListener() function to remove an event.

Advantage of using Event Listeners

  1. Can add multiple functions.
  2. Event can be removed using removeEventListener function.
  3. Event Propagation can be changed.
  4. Can use custom events.

Type of Event Listeners


addEventListener is the most preferred and recommended way to handle javascript events.

Inside addEventListener function, first parameter is event type string, like click, mouseover, mouseout, scroll etc and second parameter is function that will be called when event occurs. Second parameter can also be an anonymous function. Third parameter is boolean.

addEventListener with function

           // action is a function       


addEventListener with anonymous function


In this example, we are using click event on body element. addEventListener use two parameters. First event type, and second is callback function, that is invoked when event occurs. Third parameter (Boolean value true or false) is option as it is used only when we change event propagation.

document.querySelector("button").addEventListener("click", myFunction);
function myFunction(){ 


Event listeners can be removed using removeEventListener() method. This is another advantage of using event listeners. Here is an example.

        var para=document.querySelector("p");
        para.addEventListener("click", remove);
        function remove(){


preventDefault() function is used to stop default action on event. For example, id user click an hyperlink, first JS function will be executed, and then html. But using function can stop default action.

preventDefault() is used on click of hyperlinks and form submit. By default, clicking submit button can form data even if it is invalid, but preventDefault() can stop default functionality.


    alert("Link clicked");

    alert("Submit button clicked");

Event Propagation

Event Propagation is the order that the events fire. By default events propagates from child to parent node, also known as bubbling.

Type of event propagations

  • Bubbling
  • Capturing

Event Bubbling

Event Bubbling is when event fire on an elements and then bubbles up to parent Elements till it reach root node. By default all events are bubbling type. In example show, click events is used on both parent div, and child button. But button will call first.

    <div id="div1">
        <button id="button1">Button 1</button>
                 alert("you clicked div");
                 alert("you clicked button");

Event capturing

Event capturing is when root node is fired first, and then poppagates downwards until it reach targeted element. Capturing is possible by using third boolean parameter (true) in event listener. Here is an example.

    <div id="div2">
        <button id="button2">Button 1</button>
                 alert("you clicked div");
                 alert("you clicked button");

Event Listeners are not supported in IE 8 and below browser. For Old Browsers support, use property based click events, or Jquery.