Event: explicitOriginalTarget property

Non-standard: This feature is non-standard and is not on a standards track. Do not use it on production sites facing the Web: it will not work for every user. There may also be large incompatibilities between implementations and the behavior may change in the future.

Note: This feature is available in Web Workers.

The read-only explicitOriginalTarget property of the Event interface returns the non-anonymous original target of the event.

If the event was retargeted for some reason other than an anonymous boundary crossing, this will be set to the target before the retargeting occurs.

For example, mouse events are retargeted to their parent node when they happen over text nodes (see Firefox bug 185889), and in that case currentTarget will show the parent while this property will show the text node.

This property also differs from originalTarget in that it will never contain anonymous content.


Returns the EventTarget object, or null if there isn't one.


This property can be used with <command> to get the event details of the original object calling the command.

function myCommand(ev) {
  alert(ev.explicitOriginalTarget.nodeName); // returns 'menuitem'
<xul:command id="my-cmd-anAction" oncommand="myCommand(event);"/>

    <xul:menuitem label="Get my element name!" command="my-cmd-anAction"/>


This is a Mozilla-specific property and is not part of any current specification. It is not on track to become a standard.

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also