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JavaScript HTML DOM Elements (Nodes)


Adding and Removing Nodes (HTML Elements)


Creating New HTML Elements (Nodes)

To add a new element to the HTML DOM, you must create the element (element node) first, and then append it to an existing element.

 Example

<div id="div1">
<p id="p1">This is a paragraph.</p>
<p id="p2">This is another paragraph.</p>
</div>

<script>
var para = document.createElement("p");
var node = document.createTextNode("This is new.");
para.appendChild(node);

var element = document.getElementById("div1");
element.appendChild(para);
</script>
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Example Explained 

This code creates a new <p> element:

var para = document.createElement("p");

To add text to the <p> element, you must create a text node first. This code creates a text node:

var node = document.createTextNode("This is a new paragraph.");

Then you must append the text node to the <p> element:

para.appendChild(node);

Finally you must append the new element to an existing element.

This code finds an existing element:

var element = document.getElementById("div1");

This code appends the new element to the existing element:

element.appendChild(para);

Creating new HTML Elements - insertBefore()

The appendChild() method in the previous example, appended the new element as the last child of the parent.

If you don't want that you can use the insertBefore() method:

Example

<div id="div1">
<p id="p1">This is a paragraph.</p>
<p id="p2">This is another paragraph.</p>
</div>

<script>
var para = document.createElement("p");
var node = document.createTextNode("This is new.");
para.appendChild(node);

var element = document.getElementById("div1");
var child = document.getElementById("p1");
element.insertBefore(para,child);
</script>
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Removing Existing HTML Elements

To remove an HTML element, you must know the parent of the element:

Example

<div id="div1">
<p id="p1">This is a paragraph.</p>
<p id="p2">This is another paragraph.</p>
</div>

<script>
var parent = document.getElementById("div1");
var child = document.getElementById("p1");
parent.removeChild(child);
</script>
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Example Explained 

This HTML document contains a <div> element with two child nodes (two <p> elements):

<div id="div1">
<p id="p1">This is a paragraph.</p>
<p id="p2">This is another paragraph.</p>
</div>

Find the element with id="div1":

var parent = document.getElementById("div1");

Find the <p> element with id="p1":

var child = document.getElementById("p1");

Remove the child from the parent:

parent.removeChild(child);

Here is a common workaround: Find the child you want to remove, and use its parentNode property to find the parent:

var child = document.getElementById("p1");
child.parentNode.removeChild(child);

Replacing HTML Elements 

To replace an element to the HTML DOM, use the replaceChild() method:

Example

<div id="div1">
<p id="p1">This is a paragraph.</p>
<p id="p2">This is another paragraph.</p>
</div>

<script>
var para = document.createElement("p");
var node = document.createTextNode("This is new.");
para.appendChild(node);

var parent = document.getElementById("div1");
var child = document.getElementById("p1");
parent.replaceChild(para,child);
</script>
Try it Yourself »