Create an Element with Attributes or Styles in JavaScript

avatar
Borislav Hadzhiev

4 min

banner

# Table of Contents

  1. Create an Element with Attributes using JavaScript
  2. Create an Element with Style attribute using JavaScript

# Create an Element with Attributes using JavaScript

To create an element with attributes:

  1. Use the document.createElement() method to create the element.
  2. Use the setAttribute() method to add one or more attributes to the element.
  3. Add the element to the page using the appendChild() method.

Here is the HTML for the example.

index.html
<!DOCTYPE html> <html lang="en"> <head> <title>bobbyhadz.com</title> <meta charset="UTF-8" /> </head> <body> <div id="box"></div> <script src="index.js"></script> </body> </html>

And here is the related JavaScript code.

index.js
// ✅ Create element const el = document.createElement('div'); // ✅ Set Attributes on Element el.setAttribute('id', 'my-id'); el.setAttribute('title', 'my-title'); el.setAttribute('disabled', ''); // ✅ Set styles on Element el.style.backgroundColor = 'salmon'; el.style.color = 'white'; el.style.width = '150px'; el.style.height = '150px'; // ✅ Add text content to element el.textContent = 'Hello world'; // ✅ Or set the innerHTML of the element // el.innerHTML = `<span>Hello world</span>`; // ✅ add element to DOM const box = document.getElementById('box'); box.appendChild(el);

We used the document.createElement method to create the element.

The only parameter we passed to the method is the type of element to be created (div in the example).

The createElement method returns the newly created element.

We used the setAttribute method to set multiple attributes on the element.

index.js
const el = document.createElement('div'); el.setAttribute('id', 'my-id'); el.setAttribute('title', 'my-title'); el.setAttribute('disabled', ''); el.textContent = 'Hello world'; const box = document.getElementById('box'); box.appendChild(el);

The setAttribute method takes 2 parameters:

  1. name - the name of the attribute whose value is to be set.
  2. value - the value to assign to the attribute.

It's a best practice to set boolean attributes, such as disabled, to an empty string. As long as boolean attributes are set to any value, they take effect.

If the attribute already exists on the element, the value is updated, otherwise, a new attribute is added with the specified name and value.

If you need to add styles to the element, use the style object instead.

index.js
const el = document.createElement('div'); el.style.backgroundColor = 'salmon'; el.style.color = 'white'; el.style.width = '150px'; el.style.height = '150px'; el.textContent = 'Hello world'; const box = document.getElementById('box'); box.appendChild(el);

Note that multi-word style names are camel-cased when accessed on the style object.

You can use the textContent property to set the element's text content or the innerHTML property to set the element's inner HTML markup.

index.js
const el = document.createElement('div'); el.textContent = 'Hello world'; // ✅ Or set the innerHTML of the element // el.innerHTML = `<span>Hello world</span>`; const box = document.getElementById('box'); box.appendChild(el);
You shouldn't use the innerHTML property with user-provided data without escaping it. This would leave your application vulnerable to cross-site scripting attacks.

You can use the appendChild method to add the element to the page.

The method adds a node to the end of the list of children of the element it was called on.

If I load the page from the example above, I can see that the attributes are applied to the element.

attributes applied successfully

# Create an Element with Style attribute using JavaScript

To create an element with a style attribute:

  1. Use the document.createElement() method to create the element.
  2. Use the setAttribute() method to set the style attribute on the element.
  3. Add the element to the page using the appendChild() method.

Here is the HTML for the example.

index.html
<!DOCTYPE html> <html lang="en"> <head> <title>bobbyhadz.com</title> <meta charset="UTF-8" /> </head> <body> <div id="box"></div> <script src="index.js"></script> </body> </html>

And here is the related JavaScript code.

index.js
// ✅ Create element const el = document.createElement('div'); // ✅ Set Style Attributes on Element el.setAttribute( 'style', 'background-color: salmon; color: white; width: 150px; height: 150px;', ); // ✅ Alternatively, Set styles on Element // el.style.backgroundColor = 'salmon'; // el.style.color = 'white'; // el.style.width = '150px'; // el.style.height = '150px'; // ✅ Add text content to the element el.textContent = 'Hello world'; // ✅ Or set the innerHTML of the element // el.innerHTML = `<span>Hello world</span>`; // ✅ add element to DOM const box = document.getElementById('box'); box.appendChild(el);

We used the document.createElement method to create the element.

The only parameter we passed to the method is the type of element to be created (div in the example).

The createElement method returns the newly created element.

We used the setAttribute method to set the style attribute on the element.

The setAttribute method takes 2 parameters:

  1. name - the name of the attribute whose value is to be set.
  2. value - the value to assign to the attribute.
If the attribute already exists, the value is updated, otherwise, a new attribute is added with the specified name and value.

Alternatively, you can use the style object to set styles on the element.

index.js
const el = document.createElement('div'); el.style.backgroundColor = 'salmon'; el.style.color = 'white'; el.style.width = '150px'; el.style.height = '150px';

When setting styles using the style property, multi-name words are camel-cased.

You can use the textContent property to set the element's text content or the innerHTML property to set the element's inner HTML markup.

You shouldn't use the innerHTML property with user-provided data without escaping it. This would leave your application open to cross-site scripting attacks.

You can use the appendChild method to add the element to the page.

The method adds a node to the end of the list of children of the element it was called on.

If I load the page from the example, I can see that the style attribute is successfully set on the element.

style attribute successfully set

# Additional Resources

You can learn more about the related topics by checking out the following tutorials:

I wrote a book in which I share everything I know about how to become a better, more efficient programmer.
book cover
You can use the search field on my Home Page to filter through all of my articles.