Daniel Apt Daniel Apt -4 years ago 130
jQuery Question

Delegated events don't work in combination with :not() selector

I want to do something on all clicks except on a certain element.

I've created a very simple example which demonstrates the issue: http://jsfiddle.net/nhe6wk77/.

My code:

$('body').on('click', ':not(a)', function () {
// do stuff

I'd expect all click to on
to be ignored, but this is not the case.

Am I doing something wrong or is this a bug on jQuery's side?

Answer Source

There's a lot going on in that code that's not obvious. Most importantly, the click event is actually attached to the body element. Since that element isn't an anchor, you'll always get the alert. (Event delegation works because the click event bubbles up from the a through all its ancestors, including body, until it reaches document.)

What you want to do is check the event.target. That will tell you the element that was actually clicked on, but the actual click event is still bound to the body element:

$('body').on('click', function (e) { // e = event object
    if ($(e.target).is(':not(a)')) {
        alert('got a click');


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