Custom jQuery selectors

jQuery makes it easy to select elements you need using CSS selectors. It is undoubtedly one of the jQuery features that makes it a great javascript library. On top of standard CSS selectors jQuery introduces some custom selectors that makes your code even more simpler and easier to read.

Examples of custom jQuery selectors are: :header, :even, :odd, :animated, :contains(text), etc.

And the best part is that jQuery lets you create and define your own custom selectors using custom selector creation template below.

jQuery Custom Selector Creation Template:

$.expr[':'].test = function(obj, index, meta, stack){
    // obj - is a current DOM element
    // index - the current loop index in stack
    // meta - meta data about your selector
    // stack - stack of all elements to loop
    // Return true to include current element
    // Return false to explude current element

// Usage:

Let’s now create a very simple custom selector using the template above. Let’s say we want a custom jQuery selector that will return elements with nonempty rel attribute.

$.expr[':'].withRel = function(obj){
  var $this = $(obj);
  return ($this.attr('rel') != '');

// Usage:
$('a:withRel').css('background-color', 'yellow');

The code above creates a custom selector that will select only elements with not empty rel attributes. Here is the above code’s demo page.

You might also be interested in reading about jQuery custom functions.

UPDATE: Read about creating custom jQuery selectors with parameters.