jQuery – Which button is pressed?

OK, this is the same concept, as the one posted here, in the AS3 series. jQuery is a great tool, so I am trying to work on it, applying ideas from AS3 to jQuery; “porting codes”, if you like (better:porting concepts). The fact is that everything in jQuery seems (and is) ridiculously easier. It is not only the power of the jQuery framework, but also the DOM model that actually takes over a lot of the operations and calculations that need to be done “by hand” in other environments – such as AS3. For people that have struggled hopelessly with JavaScript for many years, jQuery is really an invaluable tool. So, a series of articles written in jQuery is starting, with this one.

As I already said, the problem is the same with the previous post:


You need to show to the user which button is pressed – but also, if the user presses another button of your buttons-group to “unpress” the previous one.

Here’s what we are trying to do (click on the buttons):

Button 1
Button 2
Button 3
Button 4
Button 5
Button 6


Yeah, I know what you’d say, to use a variable to store the id (or any characteristic attribute) of the pressed button, then refer to the value of that variable to trigger a “reset” process. Well, not for me: if I can avoid a variable, I do it. It is just a habit developed through years of struggling with tons of variables- I got sick of it! So, here’s a simple interaction design I came up with, after all those years:

  1. The pressed button resets every other button that belongs in its buttons-set.
  2. The pressed button marks itself as “pressed”.

Simple and effective. And even simpler to implement in jQuery. So, here’s my solution…

Before we start coding…

Create a stylesheet for the divs (or any kind of DOM element you prefer) that will function as buttons. The css I use is this:

.myButton {
	font-family: Verdana, Geneva, sans-serif;
	padding: 2px 2px 3px 5px;

.myButton:hover {

Next, wrap a number of divs into a div, that is:

<div class="buttonsContainer">
<div class="myButton">Button 1</div>
<div class="myButton">Button 2</div>
<div class="myButton">Button 3</div>
<div class="myButton">Button 4</div>
<div class="myButton">Button 5</div>
<div class="myButton">Button 6</div>

On to coding

OK, were ready to call jQuery to do it’s magic:

function () {
//select all the divs within the div with
//and assign them an event listener for click
$(".buttonsContainer > div").bind("click", doClick);
//the click event handler
function doClick() {
//reset the style added before for every div that is in our set
//and actulally overrides our original css class
$(".buttonsContainer > div").removeAttr("style");
//change the css style for the DOM element that
//triggered the event
$(this).css({'background-color':'#003399', 'color':'#fff'});

And, that’s all there is to it! Insanely easy huh?

18 responses to “jQuery – Which button is pressed?

  1. Great post!!!jQuery also provides capabilities for developers to create plug-ins on top of the JavaScript library. This enables developers to create abstractions for low-level interaction and animation, advanced effects and high-level, theme-able widgets.like JavaScript Tutorial

    • Thanks for your comment. I am veeeeery new in jQuery and still exploring the possibilities, in fact I am applying techniques I have developed in other environments and I am really surprised from the easinesses that jQuery offers.

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