Touch events

Discover the basics of working with touch events in JavaScript

See more on JavaScript events

Touch events are those events that are triggered when viewing the page on a mobile device, like a smartphone or a tablet.

They allow you to track multitouch events.

We have 4 touch events:

  • touchstart a touch event has started (the surface is touched)
  • touchend a touch event has ended (the surface is no longer touched)
  • touchmove the finger (or whatever is touching the device) moves over the surface
  • touchcancel the touch event has been cancelled

Every time a touch event occurs we are passed a touch event:

const link = document.getElementById('my-link')
link.addEventListener('touchstart', event => {
  // touch event started

Here are all the properties we can access on that event

  • identifier an unique identifier for this specific event. Used to track multi-touch events. Same finger = same identifier.
  • clientX / clientY the x and y coordinates of the mouse pointer relative to the browser window, regardless of scrolling
  • screenX / screenY the x and y coordinates of the mouse pointer in the screen coordinates
  • pageX / pageY the x and y coordinates of the mouse pointer in the page coordinates (including scrolling)
  • target the element touched

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