8314. Angular - Directives
Angular Directives

Learn to create and use directives in Angular application.

1. Introducing Directives

Directives are markers on a DOM element (such as an attribute) that tell Angular to attach a specified behavior to an existing element.

1.1 Types of Directives

Angular includes several structural directives for you to use in the template:

  • NgIf
  • NgFor
  • NgSwitch, NgSwitchWhen, NgSwitchDefault

Angular also includes several non-structural directives for use in the template:

  • NgClass
  • NgStyle
  • NgControlName
  • NgModel

1.2 ngIf

The ngIf directive is used to include or exclude an element of the UI.

<div *ngIf="this.showName" class="box">
  Name: Mark
<div *ngIf="!this.showName" class="box">
  Address: Atlanta

1.3 ngFor

The ndFor directive is useful for generating repeating content, such as a list of customers, elements of a dropdown, and so on.

Each item processed of the iterable has variables available in its template context, see table.

Variable Description
Item itself example: ngFor=”#name of names”. In this case, the item has the variable name.
Index Current loop iteration for each template context.
last Boolean value indicating whether the item is the last one in the iteration.
last Boolean value indicating whether this item has an even index.
odd Boolean value indicating whether this item has an odd index.


<div *ngFor="let name of names; let i = index;">

1.4 ngSwitch, ngSwitchWhen, and ngSwitchDefault

The ngSwitch directive is for adding or removing DOM elements when they match switch expressions.

<select [(ngModel)]="selection">
  <option *ngFor="let option of options"></option>
<div [ngSwitch]="selection">
  <div class="block1" *ngSwitchCase="options[0]">name</div>
  <div class="block2" *ngSwitchCase="options[1]">address</div>
  <div class="block3" *ngSwitchDefault>other</div>

1.5 ngClass

The ngClass directive can change the appearance of DOM elements by adding or removing classes. Its argument is an object that contains pairs of the following:

  • A CSS class name
  • An expression

Class name

<div [class]="classNames">Customer {{name}}.</div>


<div [ngClass]="{'selected': type === `success`, 'unselected' : type === `error`}">{{description}}</div>

1.6 ngStyle

This is a directive for setting the CSS styles of an element.

<div [ngStyle]="{'color': 'blue', 'font-size': '24px', 'font-weight': 'bold'}">{{text}}</div>

2. Creating Directives

Directives are very useful when reused to add common behavior to user interfaces. They’re often placed into shared modules so they can be reused across applications.

2.1 Generating New Directive

$ ng g directive sizer

2.2 Defining Behavior

Edit sizer.directive.ts: Change it to the following:

import { Directive, Input, Component, ElementRef, Renderer, OnInit } from '@angular/core';
  selector: '[sizer]'
export class SizerDirective implements OnInit {
  @Input() sizer : string;
  constructor(private element: ElementRef, private renderer: Renderer) { }

  ngOnInit() {
    this.renderer.setElementStyle(this.element.nativeElement,'font-size', this.sizer);

2.3 Using Directive

<div sizer="72px">

3. Accessing the DOM Events in Directives

Access the DOM events for the element linked to the directive. Angular provides different ways to access these events.

3.1 Using the Directive Element host

  selector: 'input',
  host: {
    '(change)': 'onChange($event)',
    '(window:resize)': 'onResize($event)'
class InputDirective {
  onChange(event:Event) {
    // invoked when the input element fires the 'change' event
  onResize(event:Event) {
    // invoked when the window fires the 'resize' event

3.2 HostListeners

Use HostListener annotations to bind a method in class to a DOM event.

@HostListener('mouseenter') onMouseEnter() {
@HostListener('mouseleave') onMouseLeave() {
private highlight(color: string) {
  this.el.nativeElement.style.backgroundColor = color;

4. Accessing the DOM Properties in Directives

The following code shows how to control the background color of the element by modifying the value of the backgroundColor instance variable.

    selector: '[myHighlight]',
class MyDirective {
  @HostBinding('style.background-color') backgroundColor:string = 'yellow';

4.1 Creating a Directive with Events

$ ng g directive hoverer

Edit hoverer.directive.ts, change it to the following:

import { Directive, Input, ElementRef, Renderer } from '@angular/core';
    selector: '[hoverer]',
    host: {
      '(mouseenter)': 'onMouseEnter()',
      '(mouseleave)': 'onMouseLeave()'

export class HovererDirective {
  @Input() hoverer;

  constructor(private elementRef:ElementRef, private renderer:Renderer) { }

    this.renderer.setElementStyle(this.elementRef.nativeElement, 'color', this.hoverer);

    this.renderer.setElementStyle(this.elementRef.nativeElement, 'color', 'black');


<h1 hoverer="red">welcome to app!</h1>

Run the app, open the page, it should turn red when you hover over “welcome to app!”.

5. References