Onclick event is not fired on IE


I am pretty sure everybody knows that Internet Explorer has “a few” bugs… ๐Ÿ™„
You didn’t? ๐Ÿ˜ฏ Alright, better to stay on your little cloud and leave this blog right away!

For the others, I will talk about the JavaScript event onclick which is not fired when the following requirements are matched:

  • In a form;
  • There is only ONE input text element;
  • There is one button which has an onclick event assigned;
  • You press the ‘Enter’ button inside the input text element.

For a better understanding, let’s now take the following example:

<html>
    <head><title>Test</title><head>
    <body>
        <form>
            <input type="text" id="t1"/>
            <input type="submit" onclick="alert('onclick fired!'); return true;"/>
        </form>
    </body>
</html>

As you can see, there is nothing difficult in this code.
Well, that doesn’t mean Internet Explorer can handle it… ๐Ÿ˜†

The bug occurs if you press the ‘Enter’ button inside the input text element using Internet Explorer. Indeed, the onclick event is not fired and the text ‘onclick fired!’ is not display to the user! However, it works perfectly fine on Firefox and Safari.

The funny thing is this code works on Internet Explorer if you add another input text, even if it is hidden!
Why? Don’t ask me! ๐Ÿ˜

Anyway, the following example works on IE:

<html>
    <head><title>Test</title><head>
    <body>
        <form>
            <input type="text" id="t1"/>
            <input type="text" style="display:none"/>
            <input type="submit" onclick="alert('onclick fired!'); return true;"/>
        </form>
    </body>
</html>

Why are we assigning an onclick event to the submit button?
It could be for a lot of reasons, but the main one is probably to validate the form before submitting the data.

By the way, RichFaces is very often using this event on the submit buttons.
So remember to add a hidden input text to your form if you want to allow users to use the ‘Return’ key. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  1. #1 by Sander Kuijpers on 12 Apr 2012 - 10:45

    Thanks for this clear explaination! I was puzzled why the problem happened on one screen in my webapp and not on the other. Who could have guessed the number of text fields would be a factor?

    And “thanks” once again IE, for waisting more precious development time. Grrr…

  2. #2 by Tom on 15 Jul 2013 - 05:57

    It really works Thanks for this trick, i was stuck on this…….

  3. #3 by Tony Stallan on 16 Aug 2013 - 10:15

    Many thanks for this tip. Works like a dream without having to resort to complicated key event coding

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