jQuery in 60 secs


The magic dollar sign ($) and a chain of operations

In jQuery, the most powerful character / symbol is the dollar sign. A $() function normally returns a set of objects followed by a chain of operations. An example

  1. $("div.test").add("p.quote").html("a little test").fadeOut(); 

$("div.test").add("p.quote").html("a little test").fadeOut();

Think of it as a long sentence with punctuations. Indeed it is a chain of instructions to tell the browser to do the following:

  1. Get a div with class name is test;
  2. Insert a paragraph with class name is quote;
  3. Add a little text to the paragraph;
  4. Operate on the DIV using a predefined method called fadeout.

So there it is, the first two basics: $() and chainable.

jQuery Selectors

JQuery uses CSS selectors to single out one element or a group of elements, and normally we use a combination of them to target specific elements. For example:

$(‘p.note’) returns all <p> elements whose class name is note;

$(‘p#note’) returns the <p> element whose id is note;

$(‘p’) returns all <p> elements

To select a child or children, we use the right angle bracket (>), as in $(‘p>a’) (returns all of the hyper links within the <p> element);

To select element(s) with certain attributes, we use [], as in input[type=text] (returns all text input element);

To select a container of some other elements, we use has keyword, for example: $(‘p:has(a)’) (returns all <p> elements that contains an hyperlink);

jQuery also has a position-based selector for us to select elements by position, for example $(‘p:first’)


The most commonly used command in jQuery is Document.Ready(). It makes sure code is executed only when a page is fully loaded. We often place code blocks inside this Document.Ready() event. For example:

  1. $(document).ready(function(){  
  2. $("#buttonTest").click(function(event){  
  3.    alert("I am ready!");  
  4. });   
  5. }); 

$(document).ready(function(){ $("#buttonTest").click(function(event){ alert("I am ready!"); }); });


For more info please visit Xun Ding’s excellent article Using jQuery with ASP .NET


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