NonDocumentTypeChildNode.previousElementSibling

The NonDocumentTypeChildNode.previousElementSibling read-only property returns the Element immediately prior to the specified one in its parent's children list, or null if the specified element is the first one in the list.

Syntax

prevNode = elementNodeReference.previousElementSibling; 

Example

<div id="div-01">Here is div-01</div>
<div id="div-02">Here is div-02</div>
<li>This is a list item</li>
<li>This is another list item</li>
<div id="div-03">Here is div-03</div>

<script>
  let el = document.getElementById('div-03').previousElementSibling;
  document.write('<p>Siblings of div-03</p><ol>');
  while (el) {
    document.write('<li>' + el.nodeName + '</li>');
    el = el.previousElementSibling;
  }
  document.write('</ol>');
</script>

This example outputs the following into the page when it loads:

Siblings of div-03

   1. LI
   2. LI
   3. DIV
   4. DIV

Polyfill for Internet Explorer 8

This property is unsupported prior to IE9, so the following snippet can be used to add support to IE8:

// Source: https://github.com/Alhadis/Snippets/blob/master/js/polyfills/IE8-child-elements.js
if(!("previousElementSibling" in document.documentElement)){
    Object.defineProperty(Element.prototype, "previousElementSibling", {
        get: function(){
            var e = this.previousSibling;
            while(e && 1 !== e.nodeType)
                e = e.previousSibling;
            return e;
        }
    });
}

Polyfill for Internet Explorer 9+ and Safari

// Source: https://github.com/jserz/js_piece/blob/master/DOM/NonDocumentTypeChildNode/previousElementSibling/previousElementSibling.md
(function (arr) {
  arr.forEach(function (item) {
    if (item.hasOwnProperty('previousElementSibling')) {
      return;
    }
    Object.defineProperty(item, 'previousElementSibling', {
      configurable: true,
      enumerable: true,
      get: function () {
        let el = this;
        while (el = el.previousSibling) {
          if (el.nodeType === 1) {
            return el;
          }
        }
        return null;
      },
      set: undefined
    });
  });
})([Element.prototype, CharacterData.prototype]);

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
DOM
The definition of 'NonDocumentTypeChildNode.previousElementSibling' in that specification.
Living Standard Splitted the ElementTraversal interface in ChildNode, ParentNode, and NonDocumentTypeChildNode. This method is now defined on the former.
The Element and CharacterData interfaces implemented the new interface.
Element Traversal Specification
The definition of 'ElementTraversal.previousElementSibling' in that specification.
Obsolete Added its initial definition to the ElementTraversal pure interface and use it on Element.

Browser compatibility

Update compatibility data on GitHub
DesktopMobile
ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge MobileFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidSafari on iOSSamsung Internet
Basic supportChrome Full support 4Edge Full support YesFirefox Full support 3.5IE Full support 9Opera Full support 10Safari Full support 4WebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesEdge Mobile Full support YesFirefox Android Full support 4Opera Android Full support 10Safari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android ?

Legend

Full support  
Full support
Compatibility unknown  
Compatibility unknown

See also