How to get element by class name? [duplicate]

Using JavaScript, we can get element by id using following syntax:

var x=document.getElementById("by_id");

I tried following to get element by class:

var y=document.getElementByClass("by_class");

But it resulted into error:

getElementByClass is not function

How can I get an element by its class?

The name of the DOM function is actually getElementsByClassName, not getElementByClassName, simply because more than one element on the page can have the same class, hence: Elements.

The return value of this will be a NodeList instance, or a superset of the NodeList (FF, for instance returns an instance of HTMLCollection). At any rate: the return value is an array-like object:

var y = document.getElementsByClassName('foo');
var aNode = y[0];

If, for some reason you need the return object as an array, you can do that easily, because of its magic length property:

var arrFromList =;
//or as per AntonB's comment:
var arrFromList = [];

As yckart suggested querySelector('.foo') and querySelectorAll('.foo') would be preferable, though, as they are, indeed, better supported (93.99% vs 87.24%), according to

Another option is to use, querySelector('.foo') or querySelectorAll('.foo') which has a broader browser support than getElementsByClassName.

You need to use the document.getElementsByClassName('class_name');

and dont forget that the returned value is an array of elements so if you want the first one use:



Now you can use:

document.querySelector(".class_name") to get the first element with the class_name CSS class (null will be returned if non of the elements on the page has this class name)

or document.querySelectorAll(".class_name") to get a NodeList of elements with the class_name css class (empty NodeList will be returned if non of. the elements on the the page has this class name).

you can use


suppose you have some elements and applied a class name 'test', so, you can get elements like as following

var tests = document.getElementsByClassName('test');

its returns an instance NodeList, or its superset: HTMLCollection (FF).

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