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jQuery selectors are used to "find" (or select) HTML elements based on their id, classes, types, attributes, values of attributes and much more. It's based on the existing CSS Selectors, and in addition, it has some own custom selectors.


All selectors in jQuery start with the dollar sign and parentheses: $().


Examples of jQuery Selectors:

Syntax Description
$("*") Selects all elements
$(this) Selects the current HTML element
$("p.intro") Selects all <p> elements with class="intro"
$("p:first") Selects the first <p> element
$("ul li:first") Selects the first <li> element of the first <ul>
$("ul li:first-child") Selects the first <li> element of every <ul>
$("[href]") Selects all elements with an href attribute
$("a[target='_blank']") Selects all <a> elements with a target attribute value equal to "_blank"
$("a[target!='_blank']") Selects all <a> elements with a target attribute value NOT equal to "_blank"
$(":button")               Selects all <button> elements and <input> elements of type="button"
$("tr:even") Selects all even <tr> elements
$("tr:odd") Selects all odd <tr> elements


Example code:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<script src="">

    $("#test").hide(); <!--This is the jQuery selector-->

<h2>This is a heading</h2>
<p>This is a paragraph.</p>
<p id="test">This is another paragraph.</p>
<button>Click me</button>

Functions In a Separate File

If your website contains a lot of pages, and you want your jQuery functions to be easy to maintain, you can put your jQuery functions in a separate .js file.


When we demonstrate jQuery in this tutorial, the functions are added directly into the <head> section. However, sometimes it is preferable to place them in a separate file, like this (use the src attribute to refer to the .js file):


<script src="">
<script src="/my_jquery_functions.js"></script>