AngularJS Directives

May 15, 2015

Directives are what sets AngularJS apart form Javascript client-side frameworks.

Examples of directives are ngModel, ngView or ngRepeat.

AngularJS made directives

Some examples:

  • ng-click
  • ng-repeat
  • ng-change (whenever the USER changes the value). See $scope.$watch.
  • ng-show, ng-hide
  • ng-class
  • ng-src, ng-href

ng-src ng-href

Because Browsers ara agressive about loading images parallel to other content. Angular doesn’t get a chance to intercept data binding requests.

ng-class examples

        background-color: yellow;
        background-color: red;

<div ng-controller ='myController'>
    <div ng-class="{error: isError, warning: isWarning}" ng-bind="messageText">

    <button ng-click="showError()">Simulate Error</button>
    <button ng-click="showWarning()">Simulate Warning</button>
function HeaderController($scope){
    $scope.isError = false;
    $scope.isWarning = false;

    $scope.showError = function (){
        $scope.messageText = 'This is an error!';
        $scope.isError = true;
        $scope.isWarning = false;

    $scope.showWarning = function (){
        $scope.messageText = 'Just a warning. Please carry on.';
        $scope.isWarning = true;
        $scope.isError = false;

Creating Directives


AngularJS searches through the DOM tree to identify HTML elements associated with directives. The compiler then builds the template and assigns events to the associated elements in the template.

Naming Conventions

HTML is case-insentive. We refer to a directive like this-name iin the template file and the AngularJS HTML compiler then normalizes the directive name into its camel case equivalent, thisName.

We use prefixes so our directives don’t match any existing HTML tag name, future HTML tag name or AngularJS directives.

Restrict Option

For e.g. myAppCalendar

  • ‘A’ (attribute) <div my-app-calendar></div>
  • ‘E’ (element)
  • ‘C’ (class name) <div class="my-app-calendar"></div>
  • ‘M’ (comment name)

Code Example


  .directive('myMenu', function () {
    return {
      templateUrl: 'views/header.html',
      restrict: 'A',
      link: function postLink(scope, element, attrs) {
        scope.label = attrs.menuTitle;

In the View

<div blg-menu menu-title="AngularJS Blog"></div>