Earlier this week I posted a usability tip about using CSS and MooTools’ custom event functionality to automatically add the “pointer” cursor when an element gets a “click” event attached to it. I received numerous requests for a jQuery version and I think I’ve figured out how to replicate the functionality.

The jQuery JavaScript FAIL

jQuery.event.special.click = {
	 setup: function() {
		  $(this).css('cursor','pointer');
	 },
	 teardown: function(namespaces) {
		  $(this).css('cursor','');
	 }
};

$(document).ready(function() {
	$('#click-me').click(function() {
		var col = 'rgb(' + (Math.floor(Math.random() * 256)) + ',' + (Math.floor(Math.random() * 256)) + ',' + (Math.floor(Math.random() * 256)) + ')';
		$(this).css('background',col);
	});
});

I use the special event object to add a custom event named click. When the event is added, the setup method changes the element’s cursor to pointer. If we were to remove that event, the pointer cursor would be removed. The problem with the above code is that it appears to override the default click event and when you actually click on the element, nothing happens. Damn!

The jQuery JavaScript “Success”

$(document).ready(function() {
	
	$('*').each(function() {
		$(this).mouseover(function() {
				if(jQuery.data(this,'events').click) {
					$(this).css('cursor','pointer');
				}
		});
	});
	
	$('#click-me').click(function() {
		var col = 'rgb(' + (Math.floor(Math.random() * 256)) + ',' + (Math.floor(Math.random() * 256)) + ',' + (Math.floor(Math.random() * 256)) + ')';
		$('#click-me').css('background',col);
	});
});

The only way I could get this to work without modifying the jQuery core is to place a mouseenter event on each element in the DOM that checked to see if a click event was present for the given element. If so, show the cursor pointer. This is an ugly method to achieve the goal but the only one I found. If an element were to be added to the DOM dynamically, the above wouldn’t work.

UPDATE: The jQuery JavaScript Solution

jQuery.event.special.click = {
    setup: function() {
        $(this).css('cursor','pointer');
        return false;
    },
    teardown: fuction() {
        $(this).css('cursor','');
        return false;
    }
};

Brandon Aaron and Scott Kyle blessed us with the solution; it looks like I was very close. Adding return false; would have done it.

Thank you to Brandon and Scott for helping me out!