onclick (HTML attribute)

Spec
Depr. Version
No HTML 4
Browser support (more…)
IE5.5+ FF1+ SA1.3+ OP9.2+
Full Full Full Full

Syntax

onclick="script"

Description

The onclick event handler captures a click event from the users’ mouse button on the element to which the onclick attribute is applied. This action usually results in a call to a script method such as a JavaScript function, like this:
onclick="displayHelpInfo();"
However, it can also be used to run a script in situ:
onclick="alert('You are clicking on me');"

Note that this event attribute cannot be applied to the following elements:

  • applet
  • base
  • basefont
  • bdo
  • br
  • font
  • frame
  • frameset
  • head
  • html
  • iframe
  • isindex
  • meta
  • param
  • script
  • style
  • title

Example

Clicking anywhere on the div below will call a function, defined elsewhere, called showStats():

<div onclick="showStats();">Figures for February’s racing.</div>

Value

This attribute has no fixed value. It’s up to the author to decide on the scripting that’s included here, be that a call to one or more defined functions, or a simple alert() statement.

However, the likely values will be similar to this:

onclick="doMyFunction();"

You could also specify a value like this:

onclick="doThisFunction();thenDoTheOtherFunction();"

You may also use a value like this:

onclick="alert('Hello world');window.close();"

Note that you can string several functions together, separating them with a semicolon, as shown in the second and third examples above.

Compatibility

Internet Explorer Firefox Safari Opera
5.5 6.0 7.0 1.0 1.5 2.0 1.3 2.0 3.0 9.2 9.5
Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full

Every browser listed supports this attribute. However, inline event handlers such as this should be avoided. In the same way that inline CSS styles are frowned upon but externally defined CSS styles are considered good practice, inline event handlers should be stripped out and replaced with events attached unobtrusively through the DOM.

User-contributed notes

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