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What is classlist in JavaScript

Getting Started with ClassList in JavaScript

When you start diving into the world of JavaScript, you'll encounter various tools that can help you manipulate and interact with web elements. One such tool is classList. So, what is classList in JavaScript? In simple terms, it's a property that returns the class name(s) of an element as a DOMTokenList object.

Think of it like a teacher's roster in a classroom. The teacher can add a student to the class (add a class to an element), remove a student (remove a class), or check if a particular student is in the class (check if an element has a specific class).

Understanding DOMTokenList

Before we dive deeper into classList, it's important to understand what a DOMTokenList is. DOM stands for Document Object Model, which is a programming interface for web documents. It represents the structure of a document and allows a programming language to manipulate the content, structure, and styles.

A DOMTokenList, then, is a list (think of it like a shopping list) that contains all the class names an element has. It permits you to add, remove, and toggle CSS classes on an element.

How to Use ClassList

Adding a Class

To add a class to an element, you use the add method. Here's an example:

let element = document.getElementById("myElement");

In this code, we first select an HTML element with the id "myElement". Then, we add a new class "newClass" to this element. It's like adding a new student to the class roster.

Removing a Class

Removing a class works similarly, but you use the remove method. Here's how:

let element = document.getElementById("myElement");

We're essentially removing the student "newClass" from our class roster.

Toggling a Class

Toggling a class means that if an element already has the class, it's removed. If it doesn't have the class, it's added. It's like a light switch, flipping between on and off.

let element = document.getElementById("myElement");

Here, if "myElement" already had the class "newClass", it would be removed. If it didn't, it would be added.

Checking for a Class

You can also check if an element has a specific class using the contains method. It's like checking if a particular student is on the class roster.

let element = document.getElementById("myElement");
let check = element.classList.contains("newClass");

If "newClass" is in the class list of "myElement", check will be true. If not, it will be false.

ClassList Is Case-Sensitive

Remember that classList is case-sensitive, meaning "newClass" and "NewClass" would be considered different classes. It's like distinguishing between two students named "Chris" and "chris".


Just like a good teacher knows the importance of managing their class roster, a good JavaScript programmer knows the importance of managing classes of an element. The classList property in JavaScript provides you with the power to control and manipulate classes as per your needs. It's a simple yet powerful tool that enhances your interaction with the Document Object Model.

Just remember, every student (class) matters. Whether you're adding a new student, removing someone who's transferred, toggling the attendance, or checking if a student is present, each action can have a significant impact. Similarly, how you manage classes in JavaScript can dramatically affect the functionality and appearance of your web elements. So, roll up your sleeves and start class-listing!

Keep in mind that while JavaScript and its concepts may seem daunting at first, just like anything else, understanding comes with practice. Have fun experimenting with the classList property and see how you can use it to make your web pages dynamic and interactive. Happy coding!