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Polymer trigger function in child element using event from parent function

Asked By: Anonymous

I have an element with a child element that acts as a button. When I press ‘Enter’ in the parent element’s input box, I want to trigger the child’s _runNavigation method. What is the best way to create a custom trigger where the parent fires an event to the child element?

I have tried created an EventListener in my child element:

<button type="button" class="btn btn-success" on-click="_runNavigation">{{result}}</button


is: 'search-button',

properties: {
    searchQuery: {
        type: String,

ready : function (){
    document.addEventListener('fire', this._runNavigation);

navigate: function(url) {
    var win =, '_blank');
    if (win != null) {

_runNavigation: function() {
    var text = this.searchQuery;
    this.navigate("" + text); 


And firing the event when enter is pressed when the text box is in focus:

  <input id="input" type="text" value="{{searchQuery::input}}" on-keydown="checkForEnter" on-change="_inputChanged" class="form-control" placeholder="Search">

checkForEnter: function(e) {
    // check if 'enter' was pressed
    if (e.keyCode === 13) {
    // enter pressed!
    console.log("ENTER!");'fire', {searchQuery: this.searchQuery}); 

While this will fire an event that is picked up by the child element, ‘this.navigate’ will not run because ‘this’ is now the document. I have tried changing the event listener to
this.addEventListener(‘fire’, this._runNavigation);
to add it to the element itself, but then the element does not detect the trigger from the parent element.


Answered By: Anonymous

If you had no other choice but to use document.addEventListener from within your Polymer element, you’d have to set the context of this._runNavigation with bind():

ready: function() {
  document.addEventListener('fire', this._runNavigation.bind(this)); // avoid!

While this would work in your example, it listens to the fire event on the entire document, so if any other element outside the heirarchy of your form fired that event, it would trigger your element’s handler, which might be undesirable. For example:

  <x-form></x-form> <!-- listens to all 'fire' events -->

    setTimeout(function() {
       // unrelated 'fire'
       document.dispatchEvent(new Event('fire'));
    }, 1000);


As you might’ve guessed, Polymer provides the API to fire an event on a child element…

To dispatch an event to a child, you’d set a couple options when calling fire().

fire(type, [detail], [options]). Fires a custom event. The options object can contain the following properties:

  • node. Node to fire the event on (defaults to this).

  • bubbles. Whether the event should bubble. Defaults to true.

  • cancelable. Whether the event can be canceled with preventDefault. Defaults to false.

In your case, the bubbles and node options would be useful:'fire', { searchQuery: this.searchQuery }, { bubbles:false, node: this.$.searchButton });

Then, in your search-button element, you’d use:

this.addEventListener('fire', this._runNavigation); // bind() not necessary here

Note in this demo that the fire event does not bubble up to the document (no warning logged in event handler).


techinplanet staff

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