clientWidth and clientHeight in JavaScript

William Le

Using clientWidth and clientHeight you’re able to get the pixel dimensions of an HTML element. The dimensions are calculated using the dimensions of content inside the HTML element, along with the padding.

📝 Borders, margins, or scrollbars (if present) are excluded when computing clientWidth and clientHeight

Using clientWidth and clientHeight

<div id="foo">
  Hello World
</div>
const clientWidth = document.querySelector('#foo').clientWidth;
const clientHeight = document.querySelector('#foo').clientHeight;

Learning Exercises

As an exercise, try calculating the value of clientWidth and clientHeight of the HTML element below:

clientwidth clientheight example 1

/**********************************************
 **  If the HTML element is <div id="foo"/>  **
 **********************************************/
const clientWidth = document.querySelector('div#foo').clientWidth;
const clientHeight = document.querySelector('div#foo').clientHeight;
console.log(clientWidth, clientHeight);
// --> 200, 100

How was it calculated? Simply add the padding, with the content inside the HTML element (ignore the margins and borders):

clientwidth clientheight example 2

(10 + 50) + 140   // clientWidth === 200
(30) + 70         // clientHeight === 100

Let’s try another! Try calculating the clientWidth and clientHeight of this HTML element:

clientwidth clientheight example 3

(10 + 10) + 230   // clientWidth === 250
(30 + 20) + 70    // clientHeight === 120

Notes

  • Block-level: clientWidth and clientHeight does NOT work with inline HTML elements (like span, em, or a). It’ll just return 0!
  • Rounded Values: Values are rounded to the nearest integer. If you need more precise values use getBoundingClientRect()
  • Read-Only: You can’t assign a new value to change the dimensions of the HTML element. For example this doesn’t do anything: someElement.clientWidth = 30

Browser Compatibility

clientWidth and clientHeight are supported on all major desktop and mobile browsers.

Specification

Read the official W3C specs for detailed information about clientWidth and clientHeight.

NameSpecificationStatus
clientWidthCSS Object Model (CSSOM) View ModuleWorking Draft
clientHeightCSS Object Model (CSSOM) View ModuleWorking Draft
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