Tutorial :What's the best way to get the underlying DOM element by ID in jQuery?


This sounds like a really basic question. Let's say I have the following Form element

<select id="mySelect">   


Using jQuery, let's say I want to get it by ID so I can directly access one of its attributes like selectedIndex.

I don't think I can use

var selectedIndex = $("#mySelect").selectedIndex;  

because the # selector returns an Array of Elements. If I wish to actually access the select DOM element, then I have to call

var selectedIndex = $("#mySelect").get(0).selectedIndex;  

Is this correct? Is there a selector that will let me get directly to the DOM element without having to make an "extra call" to get(0)?

I ask because I'm coming from Prototype where I can just say:

var selectedIndex = $('mySelect').selectedIndex;  


There are jQuery ways to get the value of the <select> that don't require you to access the actual DOM element. In particular, you can simply do this to get the value of the currently selected option:


Sometimes, however, you do want to access a particular DOM attribute for whatever reason.

While the .get(0) syntax you provided is correct, it is also possible without the function call:


A jQuery collection behaves as an array-like object and exposes the actual DOM elements through it.


$("#mySelect").val() will do the trick.


$("#mySelect option:selected").val()  

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