Angular 2+

Angular 2+ Directives



import { Component } from '@angular/core';
// Defines example component and associated template
 selector: 'example',
 template: `
 <div *ngFor="let f of fruit"> {{f}} </div>
 <select required>
 <option *ngFor="let f of fruit" [value]="f"> {{f}} </option>
// Create a class for all functions, objects, and variables
export class ExampleComponent {
 // Array of fruit to be iterated by *ngFor
 fruit = ['Apples', 'Oranges', 'Bananas', 'Limes', 'Lemons'];


<select required>
 <option value="Apples">Apples</option>
 <option value="Oranges">Oranges</option>
 <option value="Bananas">Bananas</option>
 <option value="Limes">Limes</option>
 <option value="Lemons">Lemons</option>

In its most simple form, *ngFor has two parts : let >variableName of object/array

In the case of fruit = [‘Apples’, ‘Oranges’, ‘Bananas’, ‘Limes’, ‘Lemons’];,

Apples, Oranges, and so on are the values inside the array fruit.

[value]=“f” will be equal to each current fruit (f) that *ngFor has iterated over.

Unlike AngularJS, Angular2 has not continued with the use of ng-options for <select> and ng-repeat for all other general repetitions.

*ngFor is very similar to ng-repeat with slightly varied syntax.


Angular2 | Displaying Data
Angular2 | ngFor
Angular2 | Forms

Attribute directive

<div []="isActive"></div>
<span [style.color]="'red'"></span>
<p []="'This is value for data-note attribute'">A lot of text here</p>

Component is a directive with template

import { Component } from '@angular/core';
 selector: 'my-app',
 template: `
 <h1>Angular 2 App</h1>
 <p>Component is directive with template</p>
export class AppComponent {

Structural directives

<div *ngFor="let item of items">{{ item.description }}</div>
<span *ngIf="isVisible"></span>

Custom directive

import {Directive, ElementRef, Renderer} from '@angular/core';
 selector: '[green]',
class GreenDirective {
 constructor(private _elementRef: ElementRef,
 private _renderer: Renderer) {
 _renderer.setElementStyle(_elementRef.nativeElement, 'color', 'green');


<p green>A lot of green text here</p>

Copy to Clipboard directive

In this example we are going to create a directive to copy a text into the clipboard by clicking on an element copy-text.directive.ts

import {
} from "@angular/core";
 selector: '[text-copy]'
export class TextCopyDirective {
 // Parse attribute value into a 'text' variable
 @Input('text-copy') text:string;
 constructor() {
 // The HostListener will listen to click events and run the below function, the HostListener
supports other standard events such as mouseenter, mouseleave etc.
 @HostListener('click') copyText() {
 // We need to create a dummy textarea with the text to be copied in the DOM
 var textArea = document.createElement("textarea");
 // Hide the textarea from actually showing = 'fixed'; = '-999px'; = '-999px'; = '2em'; = '2em'; = '0'; = 'none'; = 'none'; = 'none'; = 'transparent';
 // Set the texarea's content to our value defined in our [text-copy] attribute
 textArea.value = this.text;
 // This will select the textarea;
 try {
 // Most modern browsers support execCommand('copy'|'cut'|'paste'), if it doesn't it
should throw an error
 var successful = document.execCommand('copy');
 var msg = successful ? 'successful' : 'unsuccessful';
 // Let the user know the text has been copied, e.g toast, alert etc.
 } catch (err) {
 // Tell the user copying is not supported and give alternative, e.g alert window with
the text to copy
 console.log('unable to copy');
 // Finally we remove the textarea from the DOM
export const TEXT_COPY_DIRECTIVES = [TextCopyDirective];


Remember to inject TEXT_COPY_DIRECTIVES into the directives array of your component

 <!-- Insert variable as the attribute's value, let textToBeCopied = '' -->
 <button [text-copy]="textToBeCopied">Copy URL</button>
 <button [text-copy]="''">Copy URL</button>

Testing a custom directive

Given a directive that highlights text on mouse events

import { Directive, ElementRef, HostListener, Input } from '@angular/core';
@Directive({ selector: '[appHighlight]' })
export class HighlightDirective {
 @Input('appHighlight') // tslint:disable-line no-input-rename
 highlightColor: string;
 constructor(private el: ElementRef) { }
 onMouseEnter() {
 this.highlight(this.highlightColor || 'red');
 onMouseLeave() {
 private highlight(color: string) { = color;

It can be tested like this

import { ComponentFixture, ComponentFixtureAutoDetect, TestBed } from '@angular/core/testing';
import { Component } from '@angular/core';
import { HighlightDirective } from './highlight.directive';
 selector: 'app-test-container',
 template: `
 <span id="red" appHighlight>red text</span>
 <span id="green" [appHighlight]="'green'">green text</span>
 <span id="no">no color</span>
class ContainerComponent { }
const mouseEvents = {
 get enter() {
 const mouseenter = document.createEvent('MouseEvent');
 mouseenter.initEvent('mouseenter', true, true);
 return mouseenter;
 get leave() {
 const mouseleave = document.createEvent('MouseEvent');
 mouseleave.initEvent('mouseleave', true, true);
 return mouseleave;
describe('HighlightDirective', () => {
 let fixture: ComponentFixture<ContainerComponent>;
 let container: ContainerComponent;
 let element: HTMLElement;
 beforeEach(() => {
 declarations: [ContainerComponent, HighlightDirective],
 providers: [
 { provide: ComponentFixtureAutoDetect, useValue: true },
 fixture = TestBed.createComponent(ContainerComponent);
 // fixture.detectChanges(); // without the provider
 container = fixture.componentInstance;
 element = fixture.nativeElement;
 it('should set background-color to empty when mouse leaves with directive without arguments', ()
=> {
 const targetElement = <HTMLSpanElement>element.querySelector('#red');
 it('should set background-color to empty when mouse leaves with directive with arguments', () =>
 const targetElement = <HTMLSpanElement>element.querySelector('#green');
 it('should set background-color red with no args passed', () => {
 const targetElement = <HTMLSpanElement>element.querySelector('#red');
 it('should set background-color green when passing green parameter', () => {
 const targetElement = <HTMLSpanElement>element.querySelector('#green');

Angular 2+ Notes for Professionals book

Ahmed Mohamed Abd ElMajeed

Web developer and Server Administrator, Founder of Akwad web School and Programmer Notes.

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