AngularJS Get Element by Id Example

Hello readers, in this tutorial, we will understand how to get a DOM element by id in the angular web applications. For this tutorial, we’ll create a simple button which is reading the id of an HTML element using the inbuilt angular.element method.

1. Introduction

Before we begin with the tutorial, let’s take a look at the Angular JavaScript and its characteristics.

1.1 Angular JavaScript

Angular is a JavaScript MVC or Model-View-Controller framework developed by Google that lets developers build well structured, easily testable, and maintainable front-end applications. But before we start creating a real application using the angular library, let us see what the important parts of an angular application are.

1.1.1 Templates

In Angular, a template is an HTML with added markups. The angular library compiles the templates and renders the resultant HTML page.

1.1.2 Directives

Directives are the markers (i.e. attributes) on a DOM element that tell angular to attach a specific behavior to that DOM element or even transform the DOM element and its children. Most of the directives in the angular library start with the ng. The directives consist of the following parts:

  • ng-app: The ng-app directive is a starting point. If the angular framework finds the ng-app directive anywhere in the HTML document, it bootstraps (i.e. initializes) itself and compiles the HTML template
  • ng-model: The ng-model directive binds an HTML element to a property on the $scope object. It also binds the values of angular application data to the HTML input controls
  • ng-bind: The ng-bind directive binds the angular application data to the HTML tags
  • ng-controller: The ng-controller directive specifies a controller in the HTML element. This controller will add behavior or support the data in that HTML element and its child elements
  • ng-repeat: The ng-repeat directive repeats a set of HTML elements for each item in a given collection

1.1.3 Expressions

An expression is like a JavaScript code usually wrapped inside the double curly braces such as {{ expression }}. Angular library evaluates the expression and produces a result.

Th jQuery in Angular JavaScript makes developer’s life easier, really! But it would be difficult for a beginner to understand this without an example. Therefore, let us create a simple example to show how to get an element id using the angular library.

2. AngularJS Get Element by Id Example

Here is a step-by-step guide for implementing this tutorial in the angular web applications.

2.1 Tools Used

We are using Eclipse Kepler SR2, JDK 8 and Maven. Having said that, we have tested the code against JDK 1.7 and it works well.

2.2 Project Structure

Firstly, let’s review the final project structure if you are confused about where you should create the corresponding files or folder later!

Fig. 1: Application Project Structure
Fig. 1: Application Project Structure

2.3 Project Creation

This section will show how to create a Java-based Maven project with Eclipse. In Eclipse Ide, go to File -> New -> Maven Project.

Fig. 2: Create Maven Project
Fig. 2: Create Maven Project

In the New Maven Project window, it will ask you to select project location. By default, ‘Use default workspace location’ will be selected. Just click on next button to proceed.

Fig. 3: Project Details
Fig. 3: Project Details

Select the ‘Maven Web App’ Archetype from the list of options and click next.

Fig. 4: Archetype Selection
Fig. 4: Archetype Selection

It will ask you to ‘Enter the group and the artifact id for the project’. We will enter the details as shown in the below image. The version number will be by default: 0.0.1-SNAPSHOT.

Fig. 5: Archetype Parameters
Fig. 5: Archetype Parameters

Click on Finish and the creation of a maven project is completed. If you see, it downloads the maven dependencies and a pom.xml file will be created. It will have the following code:


<project xmlns="" xmlns:xsi="" xsi:schemaLocation="">

3. Application Building

Let’s start building an application to understand the basic building blocks of the angular.element method in the angular library.

3.1 Load the Angular framework

Since it is a pure JavaScript framework, we should add its reference using the <script> tag.

<script type="text/javascript" src="resource/js/angular_v1.6.0.js"></script>

3.2 Define the Angular application

Next, we will define the angular application using the <ng-app> and <ng-controller> directives.


<div ng-app="app" ng-controller="ctrl">

3.3 Create the Angular controller

The ang_getelement.js JavaScript file has a change() function which tries to find out the msg element using the angular.element method. The change() function is using a JavaScript document.getElementById() method and then calls the text() method of the jqLite by passing a value into the msg element. To understand this, the below code snippet can be used.


var app = angular.module("app", []);

app.controller("ctrl", ['$scope', function($scope) {
	$scope.change = function() {

		// Calling the jQuery function using the angular.element.
		var val = angular.element(document.getElementById("msg")).text();

		if(val == "Show/Hide message!") {
			angular.element(document.getElementById("msg")).text("Welcome Administrator!").addClass("text-success");
		} else {					
			angular.element(document.getElementById("msg")).text("Show/Hide message!").removeClass("text-success");

3.4 Complete Application

Complete the above steps to show the front view and understand the use of angular.element("#element_id") method. Do remember,

  • To include the jQuery CDN before the Angular script. If not, it will throw an error
  • The jqLite does not support the jQuery selectors, thus developers have to use the document.getElementById() method on top of the angular.element


<!DOCTYPE html>
      <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8">
      <title>AngularJS GetElementById</title>
      <!-- jQuery Javascript File -->
      <script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>
      <!-- Angular Javascript File -->
      <script type="text/javascript" src="resource/js/angular_v1.6.0.js"></script>
      <script type="text/javascript" src="resource/js/ang_getelement.js"></script>
      <!-- Bootstrap Css -->
      <link rel="stylesheet" href="">      
      <div id="angularEle" class="container">
         <h1 align="center" class="text-primary">AngularJS - getElementById() Example</h1>
         <hr />
         <!------ ANGULAR JS 'getElementById()' EXAMPLE ------>
         <div ng-app="app" ng-controller="ctrl">
         	<h3 id="header_msg" class="text-warning">A demo of '<em>getElementById()</em>' method in Angular JavaScript!</h3>
         	<div> </div>
         	<span id="changeBtn">
         		<button id="btn" type="submit" class="btn btn-outline-primary" ng-click="change()">Toggle</button>
         	<div> </div>
         	<p id="welcome_msg">
               <span id="msg">Show/Hide message!</span>

4. Run the Application

As we are ready for all the changes, let us compile the project and deploy the application on the tomcat server. To deploy the application on Tomat7, right-click on the project and navigate to Run as -> Run on Server.

Fig. 6: How to Deploy Application on Tomcat
Fig. 6: How to Deploy Application on Tomcat

Tomcat will deploy the application in its web-apps folder and shall start its execution to deploy the project so that we can go ahead and test it in the browser.

5. Project Demo

Open your favorite browser and hit the following URL. The application’s index page will be displayed.


Server name (localhost) and port (8082) may vary as per your Tomcat configuration.

Fig. 7: Application Index page
Fig. 7: Application Index page

In this example, users can click the “Toggle” button to switch (i.e. show or hide) the welcome message as shown in Fig. 8.

Fig. 8: Angular 'getElementById()' functionality
Fig. 8: Angular ‘getElementById()’ functionality

That’s all for this post. Happy Learning!!

6. Conclusion

In this section, developers learned how to use the document.getElementById() method on top of the angular.element. Developers can download the sample application as an Eclipse project in the Downloads section.

7. Download the Eclipse Project

This was a tutorial of the getElementById() method in the angular library.

You can download the full source code of this example here: AngularJsGetElementById


The author is graduated in Electronics & Telecommunication. During his studies, he has been involved with a significant number of projects ranging from programming and software engineering to telecommunications analysis. He works as a technical lead in the information technology sector where he is primarily involved with projects based on Java/J2EE technologies platform and novel UI technologies.
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Back to top button