Project owner:Doug Hays

The position() is used to obtain position and size information about a DOM node. The type of information it returns is the width and height of the DOM node’s border-box (or borderStart-to-borderEnd size), and absolute position (border-start) in the form of x and y coordinates. If the optional includeScroll boolean parameter (default=``false``) has the value true, then the returned x and y values are offsets from the document root (unaffected by window scrolling), otherwise they are relative to the current viewport. The return object looks like:

{ w: 300: h: 150, x: 700, y: 900, }

for a node with a width of 300px and a height of 150px, with page absolute coordinates of 700px on the x-axis and 900px on the y-axis.


require(["dojo/dom-geometry", "dojo/dom", "dojo/dom-style"], function(domGeom, dom, style){
  var node = dom.byId("someNode");
  var includeScroll = false;
  var output = domGeom.position(node, includeScroll);


Arguments Type Description
node String|DOMNode The node to return the information for
includeScroll Boolean? Defaults to false. If true the x and y values will be relative to the scroll position of the document.


Basic usage

require(["dojo/dom-geometry", "dojo/dom", "dojo/on", "dojo/json", "dojo/domReady!"],
function(domGeom, dom, on, JSON){
  on(dom.byId("command"), "click", function(){
    var node = dom.byId("example");
    var output = domGeom.position(node);
    dom.byId("output").innerHTML = JSON.stringify(output);
<button id="command" type="button">position()</button>
<div class="example" id="example">Some example node</div>
<pre id="output"></pre>
  margin: 1em;
  text-align: center;
  padding: 1em;
  border: 2px solid black;
  color: white;
  background-color: blue;
  width: 200px;
  height: 100px;

Centering a DOM node

This example shows how to center a small DOM node (with background image) over a larger DOM node (the frame) both vertically and horizontally relative to the document root.

require(["dojo/dom-geometry", "dojo/dom", "dojo/dom-style", "dojo/on", "dojo/domReady!"],
function(domGeom, dom, style, on){
  var lastX = 0,
      lastY = 0;
  on(dom.byId("doit"), "click", function(){
    var divInfo = domGeom.position("div1", true), // use true to get the x/y relative to the document root
        span = dom.byId("span1"),
        spanInfo = domGeom.position(span, true);
    lastX += divInfo.x - spanInfo.x + (divInfo.w - spanInfo.w) / 2;
    lastY += divInfo.y - spanInfo.y + (divInfo.h - spanInfo.h) / 2;
    style.set(span, {
      left: lastX + "px",
      top: lastY + "px"
<span id="span1" class="centered" style=""></span>
<div id="div1" class="container" style=""></div>
<button id="doit" type="button">Click to center the image over the frame</button>
.container {
    background: url("../../dojo/frame.png") no-repeat;
    width: 237px;
    height: 181px;

.centered {
    background: url("../../dojo/img.png") no-repeat;
    width: 171px;
    height: 121px;
    position: absolute;
    left: 0;
    top: 0;
    border: 1px solid white;

Comparison of various DOM node position/size methods

To see the effect of dojo.position’s includeScroll boolean parameter, scroll the window down and click the 15x120 content area.

require(["dojo/dom-geometry", "dojo/dom", "dojo/_base/html", "dojo/domReady!"],
function(domGeom, dom, html){
  var testNode = dom.byId("testNode"),
      contentBox = domGeom.getContentBox(testNode),
      marginBox = domGeom.getMarginBox(testNode),
      position_win = domGeom.position(testNode, true),
      position_view = domGeom.position(testNode, false),
      coords_win = html.coords(testNode, true),
      coords_view = html.coords(testNode, false);
  for(var attr in { x: 0, y: 0, w: 0, h: 0, l: 0, t: 0 }){
    for(var fcn in { position_win: 0, position_view: 0, marginBox: 0, contentBox: 0, coords_win: 0, coords_view: 0}){
      var val = eval(fcn)[attr];
      dom.byId(fcn + "_" + attr).innerHTML = !isNaN(val)?val:"--";
<fieldset style="display:inline;border:15px solid gray;border-width:15px 0 0 15px;margin:0px;padding:0px;font:14px monospace;background-color:white;outline:1px dotted black;">
<fieldset style="display:inline;border:0px;border:0px;padding:0px;width:270px;height:165px;overflow:hidden;position:relative;left:-15px;top:-15px;">
    <div id="testNode" style="display:inline;margin:25px;border:20px solid gray;padding:30px;float:left;position:relative;left:15px;top:15px;" onclick="compareMethods()">
        <center style="display:block;margin:0px;padding:0px;border:0px;width:120px;height:15px;background-color:gray;color:white;overflow:hidden;">120x15 content</center>
        <nobr style="position:absolute;left:2px;top:2px;color:black;">padding 30px</nobr>
        <nobr style="position:absolute;left:-18px;top:-18px;color:white;">border 20px</nobr>
        <nobr style="position:absolute;left:-43px;top:-43px;color:black;">margin 25px</nobr>
        <nobr style="position:absolute;left:-63px;top:-63px;color:white;">left/top 15px</nobr>
<table rules=all cellpadding=2 cellspacing=2 border=2 style="font:16px monospace;text-align:center;">
<tr><td></td><td colspan="6">attribute</td></tr>
<tr><td style="text-align:left;">dojo.position(node,true)</td><td id="position_win_x"></td><td id="position_win_y"></td><td id="position_win_w"></td><td id="position_win_h"></td><td id="position_win_l"></td><td id="position_win_t"></td></tr>
<tr><td style="text-align:left;">dojo.position(node,false)</td><td id="position_view_x"></td><td id="position_view_y"></td><td id="position_view_w"></td><td id="position_view_h"></td><td id="position_view_l"></td><td id="position_view_t"></td></tr>
<tr><td style="text-align:left;">dojo.marginBox(node)</td><td id="marginBox_x"></td><td id="marginBox_y"></td><td id="marginBox_w"></td><td id="marginBox_h"></td><td id="marginBox_l"></td><td id="marginBox_t"></td></tr>
<tr><td style="text-align:left;">dojo.contentBox(node)</td><td id="contentBox_x"></td><td id="contentBox_y"></td><td id="contentBox_w"></td><td id="contentBox_h"></td><td id="contentBox_l"></td><td id="contentBox_t"></td></tr>
<tr style="color:gray;"><td style="text-align:left;">dojo.coords(node,true)</td><td id="coords_win_x"></td><td id="coords_win_y"></td><td id="coords_win_w"></td><td id="coords_win_h"></td><td id="coords_win_l"></td><td id="coords_win_t"></td></tr>
<tr style="color:gray;"><td style="text-align:left;">dojo.coords(node,false)</td><td id="coords_view_x"></td><td id="coords_view_y"></td><td id="coords_view_w"></td><td id="coords_view_h"></td><td id="coords_view_l"></td><td id="coords_view_t"></td></tr>


  • Remember that page coordinates start as the top leftmost of the page is 0px, 0px
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