Button click effect not activating on click

When you click on a <button> element, it usually does a visual effect in response to the keypress. I’ve created a <button> element, let’s call him “Button”.

I’ve written some Javascript/jQuery code so that, when Button is clicked, the function press() is called. press just prints “pressed” to the console.

I’ve also set it up so that, when I press any key on my keyboard, Button is “clicked” as well (i.e. pressing a key triggers a ‘click’ event for Button). This calls press() so that in the console I again see “pressed”. Here’s my CodePen test for this.

Notice that if you “click” on Button with your mouse, the visual <button> effect plays, but if you just press a key (which should “click” button as well), this visual effect does not play. How can I make it so that the visual effect plays even when I only press a key? I had thought that it would happen if I used the ‘click’ event.

It hasn’t been clicked in that case, you need to look at the “keydown” and “keyup” events (which [natch] listen for a key being pressed down, and a key being released)


I believe you are referring to the styling change that happens when you click the button with the mouse? This is caused by styling on the :active selector for the button (which your browser provides default values). I don’t think this is something you can directly manipulate with JS. In other words, simulating a mouse click with JS will not affect the status of the :active state on the button.

I think you will have to handle this yourself manually. You’ll probably want to listen for separate keydown and keyup events and then add/remove a class on the button and then you can style the button to looked pressed when that class is on the button. You could also override the :active selector on the button to use those same styles so that the button press looks the same for both mouse clicks and button presses.

Ahh, I see @DanCouper has beaten me too it. What he said.

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I soon realized after posting this that the visual effect is related to the mouse being pressed down on the button, and that led me to the :active selector that you mention.

After looking it up, it looks like you can’t modify pseudo-classes with jQuery, so I’ll use the solution of adding/removing a class with keydown/keyup to mimic the :active selector. Thanks to both @DanCouper and @bbsmooth!

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Just to be clear, it’s not just a jQuery thing, you can’t do this with JS at all. Simulating a click event is not exactly the same as actually clicking on something. It will fire the click event but it won’t trigger the :active psuedo-class.

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