onmousemove (HTML attribute)

Depr. Version
Browser support (more…)
IE5.5+ FF1+ SA1.3+ OP9.2+
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The onmousemove event handler is used to identify any movement of the mouse in any direction, irrespective of any mouse button actions. It’s most often used in JavaScript-based drag-and-drop-style interfaces in which an object on the screen is manipulated—the onmousemove attribute would be used to identify the cursor’s change in position on the screen and move the object accordingly, but as with any of these event handlers, its use is up to the developer.

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


This example calls the updatePosition function:

<div onmousedown="grabItem();" onmousemove="updatePosition();">Notepad -
    drag me around the screen, make notes as you go … </div>


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.


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.

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