jQuery has numerous built-in selectors that make it easy to access HTML elements. Some are actually quite descriptive in their ability to narrow down the selection (e.g., target only form elements that are disabled).

The following are some common examples of selectors often used to target page elements. A complete list of jQuery selectors can be found here along with more detailed descriptions of their intended use and syntax.

Basic Syntax

The basic syntax is: $(selector).action()

  • The $ sign defines that jQuery is to be used
  • A (selector) is used to target the HTML element(s)
  • A jQuery action() is specified to be performed on the selected element(s)

The following uses an element selector to target all paragraphs. It will “hide” from view all HTML paragraphs on the page.


* Selector

The * selector selects all HTML elements in the document, and if used together with another element can be used to select all that element’s child elements.

					// selects all elements

class Selector

The .class selector selects all HTML elements with a specific class, which may include multiple elements on the page.

					// selects all HTML elements with the class of .my_paragraphs

Element Selector

The element selector selects all HTML elements with a specific element tag name.

					// selects all HTML paragraphs

#ID Selector

The #id selector selects an HTML element with a specific id. HTML only allows for one unique #id per document.

					// selects the HTML element with the id of #intro