Learning JavaScript? Download my free JavaScript Handbook 🔥

See more on JavaScript events

When looking at mouse events we have the ability to interact with

  • mousedown the mouse button was pressed
  • mouseup the mouse button was released
  • click a click event
  • dblclick a double click event
  • mousemove when the mouse is moved over the element
  • mouseover when the mouse is moved over an element or one of its child elements
  • mouseenter when the mouse is moved over an element. Similar to mouseover but does not bubble (more on this soon!)
  • mouseout when the mouse is moved out of an element, and when the mouse enters a child elements
  • mouseleave when the mouse is moved out of an element. Similar to mouseout but does not bubble (more on this soon!)
  • contextmenu when the context menu is opened, e.g. on a right mouse button click

Events overlap. When you track a click event, it’s like tracking a mousedown followed by a mouseup event. In the case of dblclick, click is also fired two times.

mousedown, mousemove and mouseup can be used in combination to track drag-and-drop events.

Be careful with mousemove, as it fires many times during the mouse movement. We need to apply throttling, which is something we’ll talk more when we’ll analyze scrolling.

When inside an eventh handler we have access to lots of properties.

For example on a mouse event we can check which mouse button was pressed by checking the button property of the event object:

const link = document.getElementById('my-link')
link.addEventListener('mousedown', event => {
  // mouse button pressed
  console.log(event.button) //0=left, 2=right
})

Here are all the properties we can use:

  • altKey true if alt key was pressed when the event was fired
  • button if any, the number of the button that was pressed when the mouse event was fired (usually 0 = main button, 1 = middle button, 2 = right button). Works on events caused by clicking the button (e.g. clicks)
  • buttons if any, a number indicating the button(s) pressed on any mouse event.
  • clientX / clientY the x and y coordinates of the mouse pointer relative to the browser window, regardless of scrolling
  • ctrlKey true if ctrl key was pressed when the event was fired
  • metaKey true if meta key was pressed when the event was fired
  • movementX / movementY the x and y coordinates of the mouse pointer relative to the position of the last mousemove event. Used to track the mouse velocity while moving it around
  • region used in the Canvas API
  • relatedTarget the secondary target for the event, for example when moving
  • screenX / screenY the x and y coordinates of the mouse pointer in the screen coordinates
  • shiftKey true if shift key was pressed when the event was fired

Found a typo or problem? Edit this page