angularjs-directive Getting started with angularjs-directive


AngularJS Directives are custom elements in HTML (such as an attribute, element name, comment or CSS class) that tell AngularJS to attach a specified behavior to that DOM element, or even to transform the DOM element and its children. In short, when we create a directive, AngularJS will treat that element differently.

Installation or Setup

Directives comes with the AngularJS library itself. A sample directive can be created as:

angular.module('simpleDirective', [])
.directive('helloData', function() {
  return {
    template: 'Hello, {{data}}'

And can be used as:


angular.module('app', ['simpleDirective'])
.controller('Controller', ['$scope', function($scope) {
  $ = 'World';


<div ng-controller="Controller">
  <div hello-data></div>

Will be compiled as:

Hello, World

Building a reusable component

Directives can be used to build reusable components. Here is an example of a "user box" component:


angular.module('simpleDirective', []).directive('userBox', function() {
  return {
    scope: {
        username: '=username',
        reputation: '=reputation'
    templateUrl: '/path/to/app/directives/user-box.html'


var myApp = angular.module('myApp', ['simpleDirective']);

myApp.controller('Controller', function($scope) {
    $scope.user = "John Doe";
    $scope.rep = 1250;


<html lang="en" ng-app="myApp">
    <script src="/path/to/app/angular.min.js"></script>
    <script src="/path/to/app/controllers/Controller.js"></script>
    <script src="/path/to/app/directives/userBox.js"></script>

    <div ng-controller="Controller">
        <user-box username="user" reputation="rep"></user-box>


<div>{{reputation}} reputation</div>

Your first directive

Our first element directive will not do much: it will just calculate 2+2 and will be called in html like this:


Notice the name of the directive is myCalculator (in CamelCase), but in html it's used as my-calculator (in lisp-case).

Since we want our directive to be used as html element, we will use restrict: 'E'.

Every directive has the template which will be compiled and inserted. Our directive is very simple, so we will insert our html as string into a template parameter.

// directives/my-calculator.js

angular.module('exampleApp', [])
.directive('myCalculator', function() {
  return {
    restrict: 'E',
    template: '<span> My directive can calculate 2+2: {{2+2}} </span>'


<!DOCTYPE html>
<html ng-app="exampleApp">

    <script src=""></script>
    <script src="my-calculator.js"></script>

    Here is my first directive: 


The result will look like this:

Here is my first directive: My directive can calculate 2+2: 4

If you want to play with the live example, go to plunkr.

Link function is best way in custom directives to manipulate DOM. It takes three attributes as input (scope, element, attribute) in sequence

scope: its local scope object of directive.

element: html element on which directive is used.

attribute: it gives access to all attributes used in element refered.

// on success call or similarly error, warning, info in controller
                text: "Saved Successfully",
                type: "SUCCESS"
    <user-info msg="message"> </user-info>   //in html

    var mainApp = angular.module("mainApp", []);
     mainApp.directive('userInfo', function() {
        var directive = {};
        directive.restrict = 'E';
        directive.scope = {
           message : "=msg"
        = function(scope, element, attributes) {
              scope.message.text = 'SUCCESS: '+scope.message.text+' !';
            else if(scope.message.type==='ERROR')  
              scope.message.text = 'ERROR: '+scope.message.text+' !';
            else if(scope.message.type==='WARNING')  
              scope.message.text = 'WARNING: '+scope.message.text+' !'
            else if(scope.message.type==='INFO')  
              scope.message.text = 'INFO: '+scope.message.text+' !'
            element.on('click', function(event) {     //on click of div pop-up will smoothly close
           directive.template = '<div ng-class={{message.type}}>'+            // one can create different bg-color as per type of message and width/height
                                '<div class="message-text">{{message.text}}<div>'+   //message text will be printed
        return directive;