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Your app will often need a way to let users interact with controls that change application state. For example, imagine that you have a template that shows a blog title, and supports expanding the post to show the body.

If you add the {{action}} helper to any HTML DOM element, when a user clicks the element, the named event will be sent to the template's corresponding component or controller.

<h3><button {{action "toggleBody"}}>{{title}}</button></h3>
{{#if isShowingBody}}

In the component or controller, you can then define what the action does within the actions hook:

import Component from '@ember/component';

export default Component.extend({
  actions: {
    toggleBody() {

You will learn about more advanced usages in the Component's Triggering Changes With Actions guide, but you should familiarize yourself with the following basics first.

Action Parameters

You can optionally pass arguments to the action handler. Any values passed to the {{action}} helper after the action name will be passed to the handler as arguments.

For example, if the post argument was passed:

<p><button {{action "select" post}}>✓</button> {{post.title}}</p>

The select action handler would be called with a single argument containing the post model:

import Component from '@ember/component';

export default Component.extend({
  actions: {
    select(post) {

Specifying the Type of Event

By default, the {{action}} helper listens for click events and triggers the action when the user clicks on the element.

You can specify an alternative event by using the on option.

  <button {{action "select" post on="mouseUp"}}>✓</button>

You should use the camelCased event names, so two-word names like keypress become keyPress.

Allowing Modifier Keys

By default, the {{action}} helper will ignore click events with pressed modifier keys. You can supply an allowedKeys option to specify which keys should not be ignored.

<button {{action "anActionName" allowedKeys="alt"}}>
  click me

This way the {{action}} will fire when clicking with the alt key pressed down.

Allowing Default Browser Action

By default, the {{action}} helper prevents the default browser action of the DOM event. If you want to allow the browser action, you can stop Ember from preventing it.

For example, if you have a normal link tag and want the link to bring the user to another page in addition to triggering an ember action when clicked, you can use preventDefault=false:

<a href="newPage.htm" {{action "logClick" preventDefault=false}}>Go</a>

With preventDefault=false omitted, if the user clicked on the link, Ember.js will trigger the action, but the user will remain on the current page.

With preventDefault=false present, if the user clicked on the link, Ember.js will trigger the action and the user will be directed to the new page.

Modifying the action's first parameter

If a value option for the {{action}} helper is specified, its value will be considered a property path that will be read off of the first parameter of the action. This comes very handy with event listeners and enables to work with one-way bindings.

<label>What's your favorite band?</label>
<input type="text" value={{favoriteBand}} onblur={{action "bandDidChange"}} />

Let's assume we have an action handler that prints its first parameter:

actions: {
  bandDidChange(newValue) {

By default, the action handler receives the first parameter of the event listener, the event object the browser passes to the handler, so bandDidChange prints Event {}.

Using the value option modifies that behavior by extracting that property from the event object:

<label>What's your favorite band?</label>
<input type="text" value={{favoriteBand}} onblur={{action "bandDidChange" value="target.value"}} />

The newValue parameter thus becomes the target.value property of the event object, which is the value of the input field the user typed. (e.g 'Foo Fighters')

Attaching Actions to Non-Clickable Elements

Note that actions may be attached to any element of the DOM, but not all respond to the click event. For example, if an action is attached to an a link without an href attribute, or to a div, some browsers won't execute the associated function. If it's really needed to define actions over such elements, a CSS workaround exists to make them clickable, cursor: pointer. For example:

[data-ember-action]:not(:disabled) {
  cursor: pointer;

Keep in mind that even with this workaround in place, the click event will not automatically trigger via keyboard driven click equivalents (such as the enter key when focused). Browsers will trigger this on clickable elements only by default. This also doesn't make an element accessible to users of assistive technology. You will need to add additional things like role and/or tabindex to make this accessible for your users.