How do I detect a click outside an element?

How do I detect a click outside an element?

I have some HTML menus, which I show completely when a user clicks on the head of these menus. I would like to hide these elements when the user clicks outside the menus’ area.
Is something like this possible with jQuery?
$(“#menuscontainer”).clickOutsideThisElement(function() {
// Hide the menus
});

Solutions/Answers:

Solution 1:

NOTE: Using stopEventPropagation() is something that should be avoided as it breaks normal event flow in the DOM. See this article for more information. Consider using this method instead

Attach a click event to the document body which closes the window. Attach a separate click event to the container which stops propagation to the document body.

$(window).click(function() {
//Hide the menus if visible
});

$('#menucontainer').click(function(event){
    event.stopPropagation();
});

Solution 2:

You can listen for a click event on document and then make sure #menucontainer is not an ancestor or the target of the clicked element by using .closest().

If it is not, then the clicked element is outside of the #menucontainer and you can safely hide it.

$(document).click(function(event) { 
  $target = $(event.target);
  if(!$target.closest('#menucontainer').length && 
  $('#menucontainer').is(":visible")) {
    $('#menucontainer').hide();
  }        
});

Edit – 2017-06-23

You can also clean up after the event listener if you plan to dismiss the menu and want to stop listening for events. This function will clean up only the newly created listener, preserving any other click listeners on document. With ES2015 syntax:

export function hideOnClickOutside(selector) {
  const outsideClickListener = (event) => {
    $target = $(event.target);
    if (!$target.closest(selector).length && $(selector).is(':visible')) {
        $(selector).hide();
        removeClickListener();
    }
  }

  const removeClickListener = () => {
    document.removeEventListener('click', outsideClickListener)
  }

  document.addEventListener('click', outsideClickListener)
}

Edit – 2018-03-11

For those who don’t want to use jQuery. Here’s the above code in plain vanillaJS (ECMAScript6).

function hideOnClickOutside(element) {
    const outsideClickListener = event => {
        if (!element.contains(event.target) && isVisible(element)) { // or use: event.target.closest(selector) === null
          element.style.display = 'none'
          removeClickListener()
        }
    }

    const removeClickListener = () => {
        document.removeEventListener('click', outsideClickListener)
    }

    document.addEventListener('click', outsideClickListener)
}

const isVisible = elem => !!elem && !!( elem.offsetWidth || elem.offsetHeight || elem.getClientRects().length ) // source (2018-03-11): https://github.com/jquery/jquery/blob/master/src/css/hiddenVisibleSelectors.js 

NOTE:
This is based on Alex comment to just use !element.contains(event.target) instead of the jQuery part.

But element.closest() is now also available in all major browsers (the W3C version differs a bit from the jQuery one).
Polyfills can be found here: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/Element/closest

Solution 3:

How to detect a click outside an element?

The reason that this question is so popular and has so many answers is that it is deceptively complex. After almost eight years and dozens of answers, I am genuinely surprised to see how little care has been given to accessibility.

I would like to hide these elements when the user clicks outside the menus’ area.

This is a noble cause and is the actual issue. The title of the question—which is what most answers appear to attempt to address—contains an unfortunate red herring.

Hint: it’s the word “click”!

You don’t actually want to bind click handlers.

If you’re binding click handlers to close the dialog, you’ve already failed. The reason you’ve failed is that not everyone triggers click events. Users not using a mouse will be able to escape your dialog (and your pop-up menu is arguably a type of dialog) by pressing Tab, and they then won’t be able to read the content behind the dialog without subsequently triggering a click event.

So let’s rephrase the question.

How does one close a dialog when a user is finished with it?

This is the goal. Unfortunately, now we need to bind the userisfinishedwiththedialog event, and that binding isn’t so straightforward.

So how can we detect that a user has finished using a dialog?

focusout event

A good start is to determine if focus has left the dialog.

Hint: be careful with the blur event, blur doesn’t propagate if the event was bound to the bubbling phase!

jQuery’s focusout will do just fine. If you can’t use jQuery, then you can use blur during the capturing phase:

element.addEventListener('blur', ..., true);
//                       use capture: ^^^^

Also, for many dialogs you’ll need to allow the container to gain focus. Add tabindex="-1" to allow the dialog to receive focus dynamically without otherwise interrupting the tabbing flow.

$('a').on('click', function () {
  $(this.hash).toggleClass('active').focus();
});

$('div').on('focusout', function () {
  $(this).removeClass('active');
});
div {
  display: none;
}
.active {
  display: block;
}
<script src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/2.1.1/jquery.min.js"></script>
<a href="#example">Example</a>
<div id="example" tabindex="-1">
  Lorem ipsum <a href="http://example.com">dolor</a> sit amet.
</div>

If you play with that demo for more than a minute you should quickly start seeing issues.

The first is that the link in the dialog isn’t clickable. Attempting to click on it or tab to it will lead to the dialog closing before the interaction takes place. This is because focusing the inner element triggers a focusout event before triggering a focusin event again.

The fix is to queue the state change on the event loop. This can be done by using setImmediate(...), or setTimeout(..., 0) for browsers that don’t support setImmediate. Once queued it can be cancelled by a subsequent focusin:

$('.submenu').on({
  focusout: function (e) {
    $(this).data('submenuTimer', setTimeout(function () {
      $(this).removeClass('submenu--active');
    }.bind(this), 0));
  },
  focusin: function (e) {
    clearTimeout($(this).data('submenuTimer'));
  }
});
$('a').on('click', function () {
  $(this.hash).toggleClass('active').focus();
});

$('div').on({
  focusout: function () {
    $(this).data('timer', setTimeout(function () {
      $(this).removeClass('active');
    }.bind(this), 0));
  },
  focusin: function () {
    clearTimeout($(this).data('timer'));
  }
});
div {
  display: none;
}
.active {
  display: block;
}
<script src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/2.1.1/jquery.min.js"></script>
<a href="#example">Example</a>
<div id="example" tabindex="-1">
  Lorem ipsum <a href="http://example.com">dolor</a> sit amet.
</div>

The second issue is that the dialog won’t close when the link is pressed again. This is because the dialog loses focus, triggering the close behavior, after which the link click triggers the dialog to reopen.

Similar to the previous issue, the focus state needs to be managed. Given that the state change has already been queued, it’s just a matter of handling focus events on the dialog triggers:

This should look familiar

$('a').on({
  focusout: function () {
    $(this.hash).data('timer', setTimeout(function () {
      $(this.hash).removeClass('active');
    }.bind(this), 0));
  },
  focusin: function () {
    clearTimeout($(this.hash).data('timer'));  
  }
});
$('a').on('click', function () {
  $(this.hash).toggleClass('active').focus();
});

$('div').on({
  focusout: function () {
    $(this).data('timer', setTimeout(function () {
      $(this).removeClass('active');
    }.bind(this), 0));
  },
  focusin: function () {
    clearTimeout($(this).data('timer'));
  }
});

$('a').on({
  focusout: function () {
    $(this.hash).data('timer', setTimeout(function () {
      $(this.hash).removeClass('active');
    }.bind(this), 0));
  },
  focusin: function () {
    clearTimeout($(this.hash).data('timer'));  
  }
});
div {
  display: none;
}
.active {
  display: block;
}
<script src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/2.1.1/jquery.min.js"></script>
<a href="#example">Example</a>
<div id="example" tabindex="-1">
  Lorem ipsum <a href="http://example.com">dolor</a> sit amet.
</div>

Esc key

If you thought you were done by handling the focus states, there’s more you can do to simplify the user experience.

This is often a “nice to have” feature, but it’s common that when you have a modal or popup of any sort that the Esc key will close it out.

keydown: function (e) {
  if (e.which === 27) {
    $(this).removeClass('active');
    e.preventDefault();
  }
}
$('a').on('click', function () {
  $(this.hash).toggleClass('active').focus();
});

$('div').on({
  focusout: function () {
    $(this).data('timer', setTimeout(function () {
      $(this).removeClass('active');
    }.bind(this), 0));
  },
  focusin: function () {
    clearTimeout($(this).data('timer'));
  },
  keydown: function (e) {
    if (e.which === 27) {
      $(this).removeClass('active');
      e.preventDefault();
    }
  }
});

$('a').on({
  focusout: function () {
    $(this.hash).data('timer', setTimeout(function () {
      $(this.hash).removeClass('active');
    }.bind(this), 0));
  },
  focusin: function () {
    clearTimeout($(this.hash).data('timer'));  
  }
});
div {
  display: none;
}
.active {
  display: block;
}
<script src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/2.1.1/jquery.min.js"></script>
<a href="#example">Example</a>
<div id="example" tabindex="-1">
  Lorem ipsum <a href="http://example.com">dolor</a> sit amet.
</div>

If you know you have focusable elements within the dialog, you won’t need to focus the dialog directly. If you’re building a menu, you could focus the first menu item instead.

click: function (e) {
  $(this.hash)
    .toggleClass('submenu--active')
    .find('a:first')
    .focus();
  e.preventDefault();
}
$('.menu__link').on({
  click: function (e) {
    $(this.hash)
      .toggleClass('submenu--active')
      .find('a:first')
      .focus();
    e.preventDefault();
  },
  focusout: function () {
    $(this.hash).data('submenuTimer', setTimeout(function () {
      $(this.hash).removeClass('submenu--active');
    }.bind(this), 0));
  },
  focusin: function () {
    clearTimeout($(this.hash).data('submenuTimer'));  
  }
});

$('.submenu').on({
  focusout: function () {
    $(this).data('submenuTimer', setTimeout(function () {
      $(this).removeClass('submenu--active');
    }.bind(this), 0));
  },
  focusin: function () {
    clearTimeout($(this).data('submenuTimer'));
  },
  keydown: function (e) {
    if (e.which === 27) {
      $(this).removeClass('submenu--active');
      e.preventDefault();
    }
  }
});
.menu {
  list-style: none;
  margin: 0;
  padding: 0;
}
.menu:after {
  clear: both;
  content: '';
  display: table;
}
.menu__item {
  float: left;
  position: relative;
}

.menu__link {
  background-color: lightblue;
  color: black;
  display: block;
  padding: 0.5em 1em;
  text-decoration: none;
}
.menu__link:hover,
.menu__link:focus {
  background-color: black;
  color: lightblue;
}

.submenu {
  border: 1px solid black;
  display: none;
  left: 0;
  list-style: none;
  margin: 0;
  padding: 0;
  position: absolute;
  top: 100%;
}
.submenu--active {
  display: block;
}

.submenu__item {
  width: 150px;
}

.submenu__link {
  background-color: lightblue;
  color: black;
  display: block;
  padding: 0.5em 1em;
  text-decoration: none;
}

.submenu__link:hover,
.submenu__link:focus {
  background-color: black;
  color: lightblue;
}
<script src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/2.1.1/jquery.min.js"></script>
<ul class="menu">
  <li class="menu__item">
    <a class="menu__link" href="#menu-1">Menu 1</a>
    <ul class="submenu" id="menu-1" tabindex="-1">
      <li class="submenu__item"><a class="submenu__link" href="http://example.com/#1">Example 1</a></li>
      <li class="submenu__item"><a class="submenu__link" href="http://example.com/#2">Example 2</a></li>
      <li class="submenu__item"><a class="submenu__link" href="http://example.com/#3">Example 3</a></li>
      <li class="submenu__item"><a class="submenu__link" href="http://example.com/#4">Example 4</a></li>
    </ul>
  </li>
  <li class="menu__item">
    <a  class="menu__link" href="#menu-2">Menu 2</a>
    <ul class="submenu" id="menu-2" tabindex="-1">
      <li class="submenu__item"><a class="submenu__link" href="http://example.com/#1">Example 1</a></li>
      <li class="submenu__item"><a class="submenu__link" href="http://example.com/#2">Example 2</a></li>
      <li class="submenu__item"><a class="submenu__link" href="http://example.com/#3">Example 3</a></li>
      <li class="submenu__item"><a class="submenu__link" href="http://example.com/#4">Example 4</a></li>
    </ul>
  </li>
</ul>
lorem ipsum <a href="http://example.com/">dolor</a> sit amet.

WAI-ARIA Roles and Other Accessibility Support

This answer hopefully covers the basics of accessible keyboard and mouse support for this feature, but as it’s already quite sizable I’m going to avoid any discussion of WAI-ARIA roles and attributes, however I highly recommend that implementers refer to the spec for details on what roles they should use and any other appropriate attributes.

Solution 4:

The other solutions here didn’t work for me so I had to use:

if(!$(event.target).is('#foo'))
{
    // hide menu
}

Solution 5:

I have an application that works similarly to Eran’s example, except I attach the click event to the body when I open the menu… Kinda like this:

$('#menucontainer').click(function(event) {
  $('html').one('click',function() {
    // Hide the menus
  });

  event.stopPropagation();
});

More information on jQuery’s one() function

Solution 6:

$("#menuscontainer").click(function() {
    $(this).focus();
});
$("#menuscontainer").blur(function(){
    $(this).hide();
});

Works for me just fine.