Change the CSS Class of an Object in Your Page

It's easy to change style information of any object in your HTML page. With a bit of JavaScript you can change, for example, the border, or background-color of a paragraph.

For example, the following code will add a dashed border of 2 pixels to a <p> element called MyParagraph:

document.getElementById('MyParagraph').style.border = "2px dashed;";

But did you know you can also change the entire CSS class for an object? That allows you to assign an entirely different class, defined in the current page or in an external style sheet, so you can change many style properties at once. The following example demonstrates this:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN"
  <title>Change CSS Class</title>
  <style type="text/css">
      background-color: black;
      color: white;
      font-weight: bold;

      background-color: white;
      color: black;
      font-weight: bold;
      border: 1px solid black;
  <p class="ClassOut" onmouseover="this.className='ClassOver';" 
    Hi, I am a paragraph with text. If you hover your mouse 
    over me, my color changes . This is done by setting the 
    className CSS property.

When you hover your mouse over the paragraph, the code defined in the onmouseover attribute is executed. This code sets the className of the <p> element to the class ClassOver. The this in the example refers to the entire <p> element. When you move your mouse away from the paragraph, the previous class, ClassOut is restored.

This code example change the CSS class of a paragraph, but you can apply this principle to other (X)HTML elements as well.

Live Demo

You can try out a live demo of this example.

Where to Next?

Wonder where to go next? You can post a comment on this article.

Doc ID 299
Full URL
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Written by Imar Spaanjaars
Date Posted 05/18/2004 15:19
Date Last Reviewed 06/10/2006 15:44


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