To get the cursor position in JavaScript, we can use the MouseEvent client properties, that is the clientX Property and the clientY Property.


To get the cursor position we will need to attach a mouse event to either a div on the page or to the whole page document itself. We will need to attach a function to that event, and then use the function to get the position of the cursor.

A good event to use to get the position of the cursor is the onmousemove event. Whenever a user moves their mouse on the specified element, the onmousemove event will be triggered. We can then call a function, and the important part, we will pass in a parameter to the function, that will contain information about our cursor.

Here is the HTML setup we can use for the first part of getting the cursor position.

As you can see in the code above, we attach the function getCusorPosition and pass it a parameter we call event. We will use this in the next and final part below.

function getCursorPosition(event) {
  var xCursorPosition = event.clientX;
  var yCursorPosition = event.clientY;

As we can see from the code above in our function, we take the parameter that has been passed to us called event and get the properties clientX and clientY of it.

We put these together to get the cursor position. Let’s take a look at this in action below.

Benefits of Getting the Cursor Position in JavaScript

Retrieving the mouse cursor position in JavaScript can offer several benefits when it comes to creating interactive and user-friendly web applications. Here are some of the key advantages:

  1. Interactive Interfaces: Knowing the mouse cursor position allows you to create interactive interfaces that respond to the user’s actions. You can change the appearance of UI elements, display tooltips, or provide contextual information based on where the cursor is positioned.
  2. Drag-and-Drop Functionality: When implementing drag-and-drop features, understanding the mouse cursor position is essential. You can determine where the user started dragging an element, track its movement, and place it accurately upon release.
  3. Custom Context Menus: With the mouse cursor position, you can trigger custom context menus that appear when the user right-clicks or performs a certain action. This provides users with relevant options based on their current position.
  4. Canvas and Drawing Applications: In applications involving canvas drawing or graphics manipulation, the cursor position is used to accurately track the user’s drawing movements and place elements on the canvas.
  5. Image Magnification: When hovering over images or content, you can implement image magnification or tooltips that provide a closer look at the area under the cursor.
  6. Interactive Maps and Charts: In interactive maps and charts, the cursor position allows you to display information about specific data points as the user hovers over them.
  7. Interactive Games: In gaming applications, mouse cursor position data is crucial for tracking user interactions, such as clicking on game objects, navigating characters, or aiming.
  8. Responsive Navigation: Knowing the mouse cursor position is useful for creating responsive navigation menus that expand, collapse, or provide additional options as the user hovers over menu items.
  9. User Engagement Analytics: By monitoring the cursor position, you can gather insights into how users navigate and interact with your website or application. This information can help you optimize user experience and engagement.
  10. User Guidance: You can use the cursor position to guide users through a sequence of steps or actions, making their experience more intuitive and helping them understand how to use your application.
  11. Scroll and Parallax Effects: For websites with scroll or parallax effects, cursor position data can be used to trigger animations or changes in response to the user’s scrolling behavior.
  12. Interactive Images and Graphics: When displaying images with interactive elements (such as clickable hotspots), cursor position information helps determine which element the user is interacting with.
  13. Infinite Scrolling: In websites or applications with infinite scrolling, cursor position data can be used to load more content as the user approaches the bottom of the page.

In summary, retrieving the mouse cursor position in JavaScript empowers developers to create engaging, interactive, and user-centric web applications. It enables customized responses to user actions, improves navigation, and enhances the overall user experience.

How to Get and Display the Cursor Position in JavaScript

In this example, we will create a div that takes up a section of the page. We will then add the onmousemove event to the div to run a function to help us get the X and Y coordinates of the cursor. The user will have to move their mouse in this div for us to get this information.

Finally, we will have two divs below where we can display the x and y positions of our cursor to the user.

Here is the HTML set up:

The X cursor position is: .
The Y cursor position is: .

In our function getCursorPosition, we will use the parameter that has been passed to us to get the x and y coordinates of the cursor. To get the x coordinate of the cursor, we will use the clientX property. To get the y coordinate of the cursor, we will use the clientY property.

We will finally use the textContent property to display the results to the user.

And that’s it. Here is the JavaScript code:

Here is the code:

function getCursorPosition(event) {
  document.getElementById("cursor-position-x").textContent = event.clientX;
  document.getElementById("cursor-position-y").textContent = event.clientY;

The final code and output for this example is below:

Code Output:

The X cursor position is: .
The Y cursor position is: .

Full Code:

The X cursor position is: .
The Y cursor position is: .

Hopefully this article has helped you understand how to get the cursor position in JavaScript.

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Last Update: May 3, 2024