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Setting up a click event handler in Angular requires the click attribute and an expression or method assignment.

It’s hard to imagine any modern web page that does not have at least one click-event handler. And while anchor tags provide a scripting-free way of taking the user to a new web address, JavaScript event handlers are a common trait among web pages today. But setting up up a click-event handler that would require you to make some kind of connection between the HTML and a JavaScript method that lives somewhere in your code. In vanilla JavaScript, this means a tight-coupling between your HTML and JS code. Just keep in mind, though, that even with a library such as jQuery, managing click-event handlers can become tedious.

Angular makes event handlers simple: you add a click attribute to the element. The value you assign to this attribute depends on the approach you want to take. You can provide an expression that Angular will evaluate. For example: count = count + 1. This means that when the element is clicked you want Angular to increase the value of the count property by one. You can also assign a method. This means that you want Angular to execute a method when the element is clicked. You can also pass parameters to this method.

Let’s look at a couple of examples, to see how this works:

Example # 1

In Example # 1, we have our component. Note the content property, which is a string and the count property, which is a number. We will display these properties in the UI. There is also a setMessage1 method. This method assigns a value to the content property. We refer to the content property as this.content inside of that method because the this keyword provides access to the object to which this method belongs.

Example # 2

In Example # 2, we have our template. There are three buttons. Each has a click event handler set up via the click attribute. The first button has a method assigned to the click attribute. We reviewed the setMessage1 method in the first example. This method sets the content property to  “This is message # 1”. This allows us to see in the UI that the first button was clicked. This approach is mostly likely one you’ll take when setting up a click event handler with Angular. The advantage here is that inside of the setMessage1 method, you can execute more than one task (i.e. you could do more than simply set the value of the the content property).

The second button takes a different approach: it sets the value of the content property directly. This is because an expression is provided as a value to the click attribute: “This is message # 2”. This approach is perfectly fine, but somewhat limited; you can only accomplish one thing.

The third button takes the same approach, but instead of setting the content property, it increases the count property. Also, the button’s text is updated by the {{count}} binding.

Video Example Code

If you want to download the example code, visit this Github page, and then follow the instructions:


The key to setting a click event handler in an Angular template is the (click) attribute, and you now know that you can take one of two approaches: 1) you can assign a valid JavaScript expression to the (click) attribute, for example: “count = count + 1” or, 2) you can assign a method to the (click) attribute, as long as that method is a property of the component to which the template belongs.
Just keep in mind that the first approach is limited in that you can only accomplish one task when the element is clicked. The second approach, on the other hand, is more powerful; in the method that you assign to the (click) attribute, you can execute arbitrary code, which means that a limitless number of tasks can be accomplished. So the thing for you to do, at the outset, is to decide which approach is best for what you’re planning to do.