Complete Guide to Using HTML Dialog Element in Your Web Applications

by Antonia Zivcic
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HTML5 introduced the <dialog> element, which allows developers to create custom dialog boxes within their web applications. Dialog boxes are commonly used to display important messages, gather user input, or prompt users for confirmation. The <dialog> element provides a standardized way to create these interactive dialog boxes, making it easier to enhance the user experience.

How to Use Dialog Element 

How to Use Dialog Element 

To use the <dialog> element, start by creating a container for your dialog box using the <dialog> tag. You can place any content inside the <dialog> element, such as text, form elements, or even other HTML elements. Here’s an example:

<dialog id=”myDialog”>

  <h2>Welcome to My Web App!</h2>

  <p>Please enter your name:</p>

  <input type=”text” id=”nameInput”>

  <button id=”submitButton”>Submit</button>


In the example above, we’ve created a simple dialog box that prompts the user to enter their name. It contains a heading, a paragraph, an input field, and a submit button. The id attribute is used to uniquely identify the dialog box.

By default, the <dialog> element is hidden. To display the dialog box, you can use JavaScript to show it. Here’s how you can achieve this:

const myDialog = document.getElementById(‘myDialog’);

const openButton = document.getElementById(‘openButton’);

openButton.addEventListener(‘click’, () => {



In the JavaScript code above, we retrieve a reference to the dialog box using its id attribute. We also get a reference to a button that will trigger the dialog box. When the button is clicked, we call the showModal() method on the dialog element, which displays the dialog box as a modal. The showModal() method ensures that the dialog box remains in focus and prevents interaction with elements outside the dialog until it is closed.

To close the dialog box, you can use the close() method. Here’s an example:

const closeButton = document.getElementById(‘closeButton’);

closeButton.addEventListener(‘click’, () => {



In the code above, we retrieve a reference to a button with the id attribute of closeButton. When the button is clicked, we call the close() method on the dialog element, which hides the dialog box.

Additionally, you can also listen for the cancel event on the dialog element to handle the case when the user closes the dialog without explicitly clicking the close button. Here’s an example:

myDialog.addEventListener(‘cancel’, () => {

  console.log(‘Dialog canceled!’);


In the code above, we attach an event listener to the dialog element and listen for the cancel event. When the event is triggered, we log a message to the console.

It’s worth noting that the <dialog> element is not supported in all browsers. To ensure cross-browser compatibility, you can use JavaScript libraries like “dialog-polyfill,” which provide a polyfill to emulate the <dialog> element functionality for unsupported browsers.


In conclusion, the HTML <dialog> element is a powerful tool for creating custom dialog boxes in web applications that can improve customer satisfaction. By using this element along with JavaScript, you can enhance user interaction, display important messages, gather user input, and more. Incorporating <dialog> into your web applications can significantly improve the overall user experience.

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