<style type="text/css">
        a {
            display: none;
        <p id="p"> a paragraph </p>
        <a href="http://www.google.com" id="a">google</a>
    <script type="text/javascript">
        var a = (document.getElementById('a')).style;
        var p = (document.getElementById('p')).style;
        p.display = 'none';

The first and the second alert display nothing other than a empty string, which I thought should be none and block. However after the intensionally display setting, the third alert finally alert none.

But Why? How could I retrieve the display property correctly?


Solution 1

The .style.* properties map directly onto the style attribute, not to the applied style. For that you want getComputedStyle.

I'd give serious consideration to toggling .className and separating the presentation from the logic entirely.

Solution 2

You need the computed value of the display property for the element. You can get this as follows. Note that most browsers support window.getComputedStyle() whereas the nearest equivalent in IE is the element's currentStyle property:

var el = document.getElementById('a');
var styleObj;

if (typeof window.getComputedStyle != "undefined") {
    styleObj = window.getComputedStyle(el, null);
} else if (el.currentStyle != "undefined") {
    styleObj = el.currentStyle;

if (styleObj) {

Solution 3

I'd recommend using a JavaScript library for getting computed style. For example, using jQuery you can retrieve computed style with the css() method...


The css() method is a cross-browser solution as it internally uses the style object and both the getComputedStyle method and the currentStyle object.

Solution 4

If you can use jQuery, there is a method called .is

To check if something isn't displayed, I'd do ... $('someSelector').is(':visible') ...

This would return false if display attribute is set to None.