TypeScript element.getBoundingClientRect() method (with examples)

Updated: February 14, 2024 By: Guest Contributor Post a comment


Understanding the dimensions and positioning of DOM elements is crucial for creating dynamic and interactive web applications. The getBoundingClientRect() method in TypeScript offers a powerful way to achieve this by providing the size of an element and its position relative to the viewport.

Understanding getBoundingClientRect()

The getBoundingClientRect() method returns a DOMRect object containing read-only properties such as left, top, right, bottom, width, and height. These properties represent the element’s size and its absolute position in the viewport.

Basic Example: Getting an Element’s Dimensions

This basic example demonstrates how to retrieve the width and height of an element.

const element = document.getElementById('exampleElement');
const rect = element.getBoundingClientRect();
console.log(`Width: ${rect.width}, Height: ${rect.height}`);

In this case, if exampleElement is 100px by 50px, the console would output: Width: 100, Height: 50.

Example: Position Relative to the Viewport

Next, let’s find out how we can determine an element’s position relative to the viewport.

const element = document.getElementById('anotherElement');
const rect = element.getBoundingClientRect();
console.log(`Position - Top: ${rect.top}, Left: ${rect.left}`);

This code snippet will print the top and left coordinates, showing how far anotherElement is relative to the top and left edges of the viewport.

Advanced Example: Implementing Scroll-To-Element Function

In a more advanced scenario, you can use getBoundingClientRect() to scroll the viewport to an element smoothly.

function scrollToElement(elementId) {
  const element = document.getElementById(elementId);
  const rect = element.getBoundingClientRect();
    top: rect.top + window.pageYOffset - 100,
    behavior: 'smooth'


This function takes an element’s ID, gets its bounding client rect, and uses that data plus the current vertical offset of the page (window.pageYOffset) to scroll, leaving a margin of 100px from the top of the viewport. This results in a smoother user experience when navigating through long web pages.

Responsive Design and getBoundingClientRect()

In responsive design, getBoundingClientRect() can be exceptionally useful to dynamically adjust the layout or functionality of web components based on their size and position. Here’s an example of how it can be employed for responsive behavior:

window.addEventListener('resize', () => {
  const element = document.getElementById('responsiveElement');
  const rect = element.getBoundingClientRect();
  if (rect.width < 500) {
    // Adjust layout for smaller screens
    console.log('Adjusting for small screens.');

By using the resize event, we can check the width of an element and adjust functionalities or layouts depending on the screen size, enhancing the responsiveness of web applications.

Combining with TypeScript for Enhanced Type Safety

When working in a TypeScript environment, leveraging the type safety and intellisense features can make interacting with getBoundingClientRect() even more powerful. You can explicitly type the variable holding the DOMRect object returned by getBoundingClientRect() to prevent potential runtime errors and enhance code readability and maintainability.


The getBoundingClientRect() method is a versatile tool for web developers, enabling precise control over the layout and functionality of web pages. By utilizing examples ranging from basic dimensions retrieval to responsive design adjustments, and combining these with the type safety features of TypeScript, developers can create more dynamic, interactive, and responsive web applications with greater ease and confidence.