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Make a resizable element

Written byPhuoc Nguyen
Level 3 — Advanced
03 Mar, 2020
Last updated
07 May, 2021
Assume that we want to turn the following element to draggable element:
<div id="resizeMe" class="resizable">Resize me</div>
First, we need to prepare some elements that indicate the element is resizable. They are placed absolutely at the four sides of the original element. To make the demo simply, I only prepare two of them which are placed at the right and bottom sides:
<div id="resizeMe" class="resizable">
Resize me
<div class="resizer resizer-r"></div>
<div class="resizer resizer-b"></div>
Here is the basic styles for the layout:
.resizable {
position: relative;
.resizer {
/* All resizers are positioned absolutely inside the element */
position: absolute;

/* Placed at the right side */
.resizer-r {
cursor: col-resize;
height: 100%;
right: 0;
top: 0;
width: 5px;

/* Placed at the bottom side */
.resizer-b {
bottom: 0;
cursor: row-resize;
height: 5px;
left: 0;
width: 100%;
To make the element resizable, we are going to handle three events:
  • `mousedown` on the resizers: Track the current position of mouse and dimension of the original element
  • `mousemove` on `document`: Calculate how far the mouse has been moved, and adjust the dimension of the element
  • `mouseup` on `document`: Remove the event handlers of `document`
// Query the element
const ele = document.getElementById('resizeMe');

// The current position of mouse
let x = 0;
let y = 0;

// The dimension of the element
let w = 0;
let h = 0;

// Handle the mousedown event
// that's triggered when user drags the resizer
const mouseDownHandler = function (e) {
// Get the current mouse position
x = e.clientX;
y = e.clientY;

// Calculate the dimension of element
const styles = window.getComputedStyle(ele);
w = parseInt(styles.width, 10);
h = parseInt(styles.height, 10);

// Attach the listeners to `document`
document.addEventListener('mousemove', mouseMoveHandler);
document.addEventListener('mouseup', mouseUpHandler);

const mouseMoveHandler = function (e) {
// How far the mouse has been moved
const dx = e.clientX - x;
const dy = e.clientY - y;

// Adjust the dimension of element
ele.style.width = `${w + dx}px`;
ele.style.height = `${h + dy}px`;

const mouseUpHandler = function () {
// Remove the handlers of `mousemove` and `mouseup`
document.removeEventListener('mousemove', mouseMoveHandler);
document.removeEventListener('mouseup', mouseUpHandler);
All the event handlers are ready. Finally, we attach the `mousedown` event handler to all the resizers:
// Query all resizers
const resizers = ele.querySelectorAll('.resizer');

// Loop over them
[].forEach.call(resizers, function (resizer) {
resizer.addEventListener('mousedown', mouseDownHandler);


See also

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Phước Nguyễn