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Vue Tip: Avoid Directly DOM Manipulation

Michael Hoffmann (Mokkapps) - Senior Frontend Developer (Freelancer)
Michael Hoffmann
Aug 10, 2022
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It is a no-go to manipulate the DOM in Vue.js directly:

<template>  <input id="myInput" /></template><script setup>onMounted(() => {  document.getElementById('myInput').focus()})</script>

Instead, you want to make use of refs:

<template>  <input ref="input" /></template>

ref is a special attribute that allows us to obtain a direct reference to a specific DOM element or child component instance after it's mounted.

Warning

Note that you can only access the ref after the component is mounted because the element doesn't exist until after the first render.

Let's take a look at the above example using a template ref:

<template>  <input ref="myInput" /></template><script setup>import { ref, onMounted } from 'vue'// We declare a ref to hold the element reference. The name must match the template ref value.const myInput = ref(null)onMounted(() => {  myInput.value.focus()})</script>

If you are trying to watch for changes of a template ref, make sure to check if the ref has a null value:

<template>  <input ref="myInput" /></template><script setup>import { ref, watchEffect } from 'vue'const myInput = ref(null)watchEffect(() => {  if (myInput.value) {    myInput.value.focus()  } else {    // not mounted yet, or the element was unmounted (e.g., by v-if)  }})</script>

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