Finding element's position relative to the document

What's the easiest way to determine an elements position relative to the document/body/browser window?

Right now I'm using .offsetLeft/offsetTop, but this method only gives you the position relative to the parent element, so you need to determine how many parents to the body element, to know the position relaltive to the body/browser window/document position.

This method is also to cumbersome.

Answers:

Answer

You can traverse the offsetParent up to the top level of the DOM.

function getOffsetLeft( elem )
{
    var offsetLeft = 0;
    do {
      if ( !isNaN( elem.offsetLeft ) )
      {
          offsetLeft += elem.offsetLeft;
      }
    } while( elem = elem.offsetParent );
    return offsetLeft;
}
Answer

You can get top and left without traversing DOM like this:

function getCoords(elem) { // crossbrowser version
    var box = elem.getBoundingClientRect();

    var body = document.body;
    var docEl = document.documentElement;

    var scrollTop = window.pageYOffset || docEl.scrollTop || body.scrollTop;
    var scrollLeft = window.pageXOffset || docEl.scrollLeft || body.scrollLeft;

    var clientTop = docEl.clientTop || body.clientTop || 0;
    var clientLeft = docEl.clientLeft || body.clientLeft || 0;

    var top  = box.top +  scrollTop - clientTop;
    var left = box.left + scrollLeft - clientLeft;

    return { top: Math.round(top), left: Math.round(left) };
}
Answer

I suggest using

element.getBoundingClientRect()

as proposed here instead of manual offset calculation through offsetLeft, offsetTop and offsetParent. as proposed here Under some circumstances* the manual traversal produces invalid results. See this Plunker: http://plnkr.co/pC8Kgj

*When element is inside of a scrollable parent with static (=default) positioning.

Answer

For those that want to get the x and y coordinates of various positions of an element, relative to the document.

const getCoords = (element, position) => {
  const { top, left, width, height } = element.getBoundingClientRect();
  let point;
  switch (position) {
    case "top left":
      point = {
        x: left + window.pageXOffset,
        y: top + window.pageYOffset
      };
      break;
    case "top center":
      point = {
        x: left + width / 2 + window.pageXOffset,
        y: top + window.pageYOffset
      };
      break;
    case "top right":
      point = {
        x: left + width + window.pageXOffset,
        y: top + window.pageYOffset
      };
      break;
    case "center left":
      point = {
        x: left + window.pageXOffset,
        y: top + height / 2 + window.pageYOffset
      };
      break;
    case "center":
      point = {
        x: left + width / 2 + window.pageXOffset,
        y: top + height / 2 + window.pageYOffset
      };
      break;
    case "center right":
      point = {
        x: left + width + window.pageXOffset,
        y: top + height / 2 + window.pageYOffset
      };
      break;
    case "bottom left":
      point = {
        x: left + window.pageXOffset,
        y: top + height + window.pageYOffset
      };
      break;
    case "bottom center":
      point = {
        x: left + width / 2 + window.pageXOffset,
        y: top + height + window.pageYOffset
      };
      break;
    case "bottom right":
      point = {
        x: left + width + window.pageXOffset,
        y: top + height + window.pageYOffset
      };
      break;
  }
  return point;
};

Usage

  • getCoords(document.querySelector('selector'), 'center')

  • getCoords(document.querySelector('selector'), 'bottom right')

  • getCoords(document.querySelector('selector'), 'top center')

Answer

You can use element.getBoundingClientRect() to retrieve element position relative to the viewport.

Then use document.documentElement.scrollTop to calculate the viewport offset.

The sum of the two will give the element position relative to the document:

element.getBoundingClientRect().top + document.documentElement.scrollTop
Answer

document-offset (3rd-party script) is interesting and it seems to leverage approaches from the other answers here.

Example:

var offset = require('document-offset')
var target = document.getElementById('target')
console.log(offset(target))
// => {top: 69, left: 108} 
Answer

I've found the following method to be the most reliable when dealing with edge cases that trip up offsetTop/offsetLeft.

function getPosition(element) {
    var clientRect = element.getBoundingClientRect();
    return {left: clientRect.left + document.body.scrollLeft,
            top: clientRect.top + document.body.scrollTop};
}
Answer

http://www.quirksmode.org/js/findpos.html Explains the best way to do it, all in all, you are on the right track you have to find the offsets and traverse up the tree of parents.

Answer

If you don't mind using jQuery, then you can use offset() function. Refer to documentation if you want to read up more about this function.

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