The blog ofJonathan Pepin

Get mouse position on canvas


A simple one that I want to save here because I keep googling it and copy/pasting.

const getMousePos = (evt, canvas) => {
  const rect = canvas.getBoundingClientRect();
  return {
    y: evt.clientY -,
    x: evt.clientX - rect.left

Let's also take some time to explain what is happening here.

When a mouse event evt is fired, the mouseX and mouseY coordinates are recorded relative to the window (even if the mouse event is recorded from a nested DOM element[1]).

So if you want to know the position of the mouse inside your canvas, you will need to calculate the X and Y offset that the canvas has from the window's top left corner (X == 0 and Y == 0).

The DOM API offers a helper function getBoundingClientRect that can be called on any element, and returns a rectangle representing the surface of the element. This rectanble (a DOMRect object) has multiple attributes, including its X and Y offset from the window, left and top.

And using this offset, we can calculate the coordinates of the pointer relative to the current element by substracting mouseX - and mouseY - rect.left.

[1] There is a new experimental specification called offsetX and offsetY which provides the offset coordinate of the mouse pointer taking into account the current DOM element's offset. Since it is still an early experimentation (only Chrome 56 at time of writing) it is not recommended to use quite now.