Find mouse position relative to element

Find mouse position relative to element

I want to make a little painting app using canvas. So I need to find the mouse’s position on the canvas.


Solution 1:

For people using JQuery:

Sometimes, when you have nested elements, one of them with the event attached to it, it can be confusing to understand what your browser sees as the parent. Here, you can specify which parent.

You take the mouse position, and then subtract it from the parent element’s offset position.

var x = evt.pageX - $('#element').offset().left;
var y = evt.pageY - $('#element').offset().top;

If you’re trying to get the mouse position on a page inside a scrolling pane:

var x = (evt.pageX - $('#element').offset().left) + self.frame.scrollLeft();
var y = (evt.pageY - $('#element').offset().top) + self.frame.scrollTop();

Or the position relative to the page:

var x = (evt.pageX - $('#element').offset().left) + $(window).scrollLeft();
var y = (evt.pageY - $('#element').offset().top) + $(window).scrollTop();

Note the following performance optimisation:

var offset = $('#element').offset();
// Then refer to 
var x = evt.pageX - offset.left;

In this way, JQuery does not have to look up #element for each line.

Solution 2:

As I didn’t find a jQuery-free answer that I could copy/paste, here’s the solution I used:

function clickEvent(e) {
  // e = Mouse click event.
  var rect =;
  var x = e.clientX - rect.left; //x position within the element.
  var y = e.clientY -;  //y position within the element.

JSFiddle of full example

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Solution 3:

The following calculates the mouse position relation to the canvas element:

var example = document.getElementById('example'); 
example.onmousemove = function(e) { 
    var x = e.pageX - this.offsetLeft; 
    var y = e.pageY - this.offsetTop; 

In this example, this refers to the example element, and e is the onmousemove event.

Solution 4:

There is no answer in pure javascript that returns relative coordinates when the reference element is nested inside others which can be with absolute positioning. Here is a solution to this scenario:

function getRelativeCoordinates (event, element) {

  const position = {
    x: event.pageX,
    y: event.pageY

  const offset = {
    left: element.offsetLeft,
    top: element.offsetTop

  let reference = element.offsetParent;

  while(reference !== null || reference !== undefined){
    offset.left += reference.offsetLeft; += reference.offsetTop;
    reference = reference.offsetParent;

  return { 
    x: position.x - offset.left,
    y: position.y -,


Solution 5:

A good write up of the difficulty of this problem can be found here:

Using the technique that is described there you can find the mouses position in the document. Then you just check to see if it is inside the bounding box of your element, which you can find by calling element.getBoundingClientRect() which will return an object with the following properties: { bottom, height, left, right, top, width }. From there it is trivial to figure out if the even happened inside your element or not.

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Solution 6:

I +1′ Mark van Wyk’s answer as it got me in the right direction, but didn’t quite solve it for me. I still had an offset on painting in elements contained within another element.

FOllowing solved it for me:

        x = e.pageX - this.offsetLeft - $(elem).offset().left;
        y = e.pageY - this.offsetTop - $(elem).offset().top;

In other words – i simply stacked all the offsets from all elements nested