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Select the direct children of an element

Written byPhuoc Nguyen
29 Aug, 2023
DOM, JavaScript
When we use the `querySelectorAll` function to select all children of a given element, it fetches all the children, including the nested ones. But what if you only want to retrieve the direct children? That's where the `>` selector comes in handy.
To make things clearer, here's an example: let's say you want to select all direct children of an element with the ID of `parent`. You can simply use the following code:
const parentElement = document.getElementById('parent');
const directChildren = parentElement.querySelectorAll('> *');
In the code above, we're using `getElementById` to select a parent element with a specific `id` attribute. Then, we use `querySelectorAll` to choose all direct children of that parent element using the `>` selector. The `*` selector matches any element, so this code selects all direct children, no matter their tag name.
If you only want to select a specific type of tag, you can use that tag name instead of the `*` selector. For example, the following code selects only the `li` tags that are direct children of a given `ul` element.
This approach excludes any nested `li` tags.
const ul = document.getElementById('list');
const directItems = ul.querySelectorAll('> li');
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Phước Nguyễn