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[Vue.js] Can you pass an element to a function within the template in Vue?

I’m trying to calculate and set an element’s max-height style programmatically based on the number of children it has. there is to do this on four separate elements, each with a different number of children, so I can’t just create a single computed property. I already have the logic to calculate the max-height in the function, but I’m unable to pass an element from the template into a function.

I’ve tried the following solutions with no luck:

<div ref=”div1” :style=”{ maxHeight: getMaxHeight($refs.div1) }”></div>
This didn’t work because $refs is not yet defined at the time I’m passing it into the function.
Trying to pass this or $ to getMaxHeight(). This didn’t work either because this doesn’t refer to the current element, and there was no event since I’m not in a v-on event handler.

The only other solution I can think of is creating four computed properties that each call getMaxHeight() with the $ref, but if I can handle it from a single function called with different params, it would be easier to maintain. If possible, I would like to pass the element itself from the template. Does anyone know of a way to do this, or a more elegant approach to solving this problem?

Solution :

Making a custom directive thata operates directly on the div element would probably be the best shot. You could create a directive component like:

export default {
name: ‘maxheight’,
bind(el) {
const numberOfChildren = el.children.length;

// rest of the max height logic here = ‘100px’;

Then just make sure to import the directive in the file you plan on using it, and add it to the div element:

<div ref=”div1” maxheight></div>

Solution 2:

A cheap trick I learned with vue.js is that if you require anything in the template that isnt loaded when the template is mounted is to just put a template with a v-if on it:

<template v-if=”$refs”>
<div ref=”div1” :style=”{ maxHeight: getMaxHeight($refs.div1) }”></div>

around it. This might look dirty at first, but the thing is, it does the job without loads of extra code and time spend and prevents the errors.

Also, a small improvement in code length on the expandable-function:

const expandable = el => =
( el.classList.contains(‘expanded’) ?>c.scrollHeight).reduce((h1,h2)=>h1+h2)
: 0 ) + ‘px’;

Solution 3:

I ended up creating a directive like was suggested. It tries to expand/compress when:

It’s clicked
Its classes change
The element or its children update

vue.js component:

<button @click=”toggleAccordion($event.currentTarget.nextElementSibling)”></button>
<div @click=”toggleAccordion($event.currentTarget)” v-accordion-toggle>
<myComponent v-for=”data in dataList” :data=”data”></myComponent>


private toggleAccordion(elem: HTMLElement): void {

Directive: Accordion.ts

const expandable = (el: HTMLElement) => = (el.classList.contains(“expanded”) ?
[…el.children].map(c => c.scrollHeight).reduce((h1, h2) => h1 + h2) : “0”) + “px”;

Vue.directive(“accordion-toggle”, {
bind: (el: HTMLElement, binding: any, vnode: any) => {
el.onclick = ($event: any) => {
expandable($event.currentTarget) ; // When the element is clicked

// If the classes on the elem change, like another button adding .expanded class
const observer = new MutationObserver(() => expandable(el));
observer.observe(el, {
attributes: true,
attributeFilter: [“class”],
componentUpdated: (el: HTMLElement) => {
expandable(el); // When the component (or its children) update