DEV Community

Brandon Benefield
Brandon Benefield

Posted on

Creating/Dispatching Custom JS Events

Here's a quick introduction to creating and dispatching custom events. Much like click and change, we're also able to create, have elements watch for, and trigger our very own events.

There's two API's provided that we can access:


  • Few config options
  • Straight forward
  • Creates a new event


  • Same as Event
  • Flexible
  • Customizable config object

Simple custom events

 * Simple custom event
// Grab a reference to the <p> element
const p = document.querySelector('p')

// create a new event
const pEvent = new Event('pEvent')

// listen for the 'pEvent' on the <p> element
p.addEventListener('pEvent', e => {

// trigger, or 'dispatch', the 'pEvent' event
p.dispatchEvent(pEvent)  // -> 'pEvent'

Add 'Event Bubbling' to a custom event

 * Custom event with bubbling
 * Read more about 'bubbling' and 'capturing':
const div = document.querySelector('div')
const divEvent = new Event('divEvent', { bubbles: true })

div.addEventListener('divEvent', e => {
  // should read 'Event dispatched from HTMLParagraphElement'
  console.log(`Event dispatched from ${}`)

p.addEventListener('pEvent', e => {

// Dispatch the event from the <p> element
// Notice that the event 'bubbles' up to the parent <div> tag

Triggering events built into JS

 * Dispatching existing JS events (click, change, etc.)
const button = document.querySelector('button')

button.addEventListener('click', () => {
  console.log('Button Clicked')

button.dispatchEvent(new Event('click'))  // Dispatch click using 'dispatchEvent'  // Directly calling 'click' also works in this example example of these examples in action

Example of when to use

Say, for example, you don't have access to the code base of a project you've been assigned. Say, for example, you can only use plain JavaScript. Now, let's say the project you're working on is using a hodgepodge of HTML/CSS/JS and Vue components all hanging out on the same page.

Now in this scenario, you need to access a method on an input that's triggered by the inputs change event, something along the lines of <input class="my_input" :onChange="makeChange" />, but only after a button on the page has been clicked. Well, if we're injecting a script and we don't have access to any of the components methods and properties this could be a pretty challenging task.

The quick and easy solution here is to dispatch the elements change event similar to the examples above.

const myInput = document.querySelector('.my_input')
const myButton = document.querySelect('.my_button')

myButton.addEventListener('click', () => {
  // dispatches the inputs 'change' event
  myInput.dispatchEvent(new Event('change'))

Top comments (0)