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A reference to the object that dispatched the event. It is different from event.currentTarget when the event handler is called during the bubbling or capturing phase of the event.

Syntax

theTarget = event.target

Example

The event.target property can be used in order to implement event delegation.

// Make a list
var ul = document.createElement('ul');
document.body.appendChild(ul);

var li1 = document.createElement('li');
var li2 = document.createElement('li');
ul.appendChild(li1);
ul.appendChild(li2);

function hide(e){
  // e.target refers to the clicked <li> element
  // This is different than e.currentTarget which would refer to the parent <ul> in this context
  e.target.style.visibility = 'hidden';
}

// Attach the listener to the list
// It will fire when each <li> is clicked
ul.addEventListener('click', hide, false);

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
DOM
The definition of 'Event.target' in that specification.
Living Standard  
DOM4
The definition of 'Event.target' in that specification.
Obsolete  
Document Object Model (DOM) Level 2 Events Specification
The definition of 'Event.target' in that specification.
Obsolete Initial definition

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Edge Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
Feature Android Edge Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)

Compatibility notes

On IE 6-8 the event model is different. Event listeners are attached with the non-standard EventTarget.attachEvent method. In this model, the event object has a Event.srcElement property, instead of the target property, and it has the same semantics as event.target.

function hide(e) {
  // Support IE6-8
  var target = e.target || e.srcElement;
  target.style.visibility = 'hidden';
}

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

 Last updated by: destin.moulton,