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HTML elements

Several components in the Obsidian API, such as the settings tab, expose container elements:

import { App, PluginSettingTab } from "obsidian";
class ExampleSettingTab extends PluginSettingTab {  plugin: ExamplePlugin;
  constructor(app: App, plugin: ExamplePlugin) {    super(app, plugin);    this.plugin = plugin;  }
  display(): void {    let { containerEl } = this;
    // ...  }}

Container elements are HTMLElement objects that make it possible to create custom interfaces within Obsidian.

Create HTML elements using createEl()#

Every HTMLElement, including the container element, exposes a createEl() method that creates an HTMLElement under the original element.

For example, here's how you can add an <h1> heading element inside the container element:

containerEl.createEl("h1", { text: "Heading 1" });

createEl() returns a reference to the new element:

const book = containerEl.createEl("div");book.createEl("div", { text: "How to Take Smart Notes" });book.createEl("small", { text: "Sönke Ahrens" });

Style your elements#

You can add custom CSS styles to your plugin by adding a styles.css file in the plugin root directory. To add some styles for the previous book example:

styles.css
.book {  border: 1px solid var(--background-modifier-border);  padding: 10px;}
.book__title {  font-weight: 600;}
.book__author {  color: var(--text-muted);}
tip

--background-modifier-border and --text-muted are CSS variables that are defined and used by Obsidian itself. If you use these variables for your styles, your plugin will look great even if the user has a different theme! 🌈

To make the HTML elements use the styles, set the cls property for the HTML element:

const book = containerEl.createEl("div", { cls: "book" });book.createEl("div", { text: "How to Take Smart Notes", cls: "book__title" });book.createEl("small", { text: "Sönke Ahrens", cls: "book__author" });

Now it looks much better! 🎉

Styled book item

Conditional styles#

Use the toggleClass method if you want to change the style of an element based on the user's settings or other values:

element.toggleClass("danger", status === "error");