MDN will be in maintenance mode on Friday September 22nd, starting at 10 AM Pacific / 5 PM UTC, for about 1 hour.

Dispatches an Event at the specified EventTarget, invoking the affected EventListeners in the appropriate order. The normal event processing rules (including the capturing and optional bubbling phase) also apply to events dispatched manually with dispatchEvent().

Syntax

cancelled = !target.dispatchEvent(event)

Parameter

  • event is the Event object to be dispatched.
  • target is used to initialize the Event.target and determine which event listeners to invoke.

Return Value

  • The return value is false if event is cancelable and at least one of the event handlers which handled this event called Event.preventDefault(). Otherwise it returns true.

The dispatchEvent method throws UNSPECIFIED_EVENT_TYPE_ERR if the event's type was not specified by initializing the event before the method was called, or if the event's type is null or an empty string. Exceptions thrown by event handlers are reported as uncaught exceptions; the event handlers run on a nested callstack: they block the caller until they complete, but exceptions do not propagate to the caller.

Notes

dispatchEvent is the last step of the create-init-dispatch process, which is used for dispatching events into the implementation's event model. The event can be created using Event constructor

See also the Event object reference.

Example

See Creating and triggering events.

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
DOM
The definition of 'EventTarget.dispatchEvent()' in that specification.
Living Standard Initial definition in the DOM 2 Events specification.

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Edge Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari (WebKit)
Basic support 4 (Yes) 2 9 [1] 9.64 (probably earlier) 3.2 (probably earlier)
Feature Android Edge Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Phone Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support ? (Yes) ? ? ? ?

[1]: Earlier versions of IE instead only support the proprietary EventTarget.fireEvent() method.