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CSS media queries in JavaScript

I like the media queries feature added to CSS 3, that allows web application developers or designers to define styling sheets for a range of output devices. A media query consists of a media type and one or more expressions that limits the style sheet scope. I was wondering if JavaScript can be used to update the elements in page, say changing the source attribute of an image based on the device width. Turns out there is a function matchMedia which accepts a media query string as input and returns the result.

Here's how it works:

if (window.matchMedia('only screen and (max-width: 480px)').matches) //do something
The matchMedia function accepts a media query string and returns an object of type MediaQueryList. The matches property returns a boolean value true if the document matches the media query list. I wrote a very simple page that changes the image source when the window is resized, here's the code:

<!DOCTYPE HTML> <html> <head> <script> function onresize(event){ var deviceImage = document.getElementById('device-image'); //device is a phone if (window.matchMedia('only screen and (max-width: 480px)').matches) { deviceImage.src = "phone.png"; } //device is a tablet else if (window.matchMedia('only screen and (min-width: 481px) and (max-width: 1024px)').matches) { deviceImage.src = "tablet.png"; } //device is a notebook else { deviceImage.src = "notebook.png"; } } //change the image when window is resized window.addEventListener('resize', onresize, false); //show the image based on the device width window.addEventListener('load',onresize,false); </script> </head> <body> Resize the window <div align="center"> <img id="device-image" src="notebook.png" /> </div> </body> </html>

Here I'm checking for the min-width and max-width properties and then based on these values I'm changing the source attribute of the image. Here's the working demo:


  1. Doesn't work in Safari and Opera in Mac.


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