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jQuery parent() vs. parents()

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Welcome jQuery newbies! I’m writing a quick post here to help clarify some differences between the parent() and parents() methods.

Given the following HTML:
<html>…<body><div class=”one”><div class=”two”><p><span>Some text</span></p></div></div></body></html>

$(‘span’).parent() will select the <p> tag such that the element set in the jQuery object is [span].

$(‘span’).parents() will select all parent tags such that the element set in the jQuery object is [p, div.two, div.one, body, html].

So parent() will select the first parent element while parents() will select all elements straight up the DOM tree.

Now jQuery has some great flexibility in that you could do that following:

$(‘span’).parents().filter(‘div’) which would result in [div.two, div.one]. jQuery makes it even easier as the parent() and parents() methods support filtering built in so the above can be reduced to:

$(‘span’).parents(‘div’) giving you [div.two, div.one].

Let’s continue with one more example, let’s say that you only need the first div in the parent DOM tree, jQuery to the rescue $(‘span’).parents(‘div:eq(0)’) will give you [div.two]


Written by jdsharp

January 24th, 2008 at 10:34 am

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