class method Event.stop

View source on GitHub →

Event.stop(event) → undefined

Stops the event's propagation and prevents its eventual default action from being triggered.

Stopping an event also sets a stopped property on that event for future inspection.

There are two aspects to how your browser handles an event once it fires up:

  1. The browser usually triggers event handlers on the actual element the event occurred on, then on its parent element, and so on and so forth, until the document's root element is reached. This is called event bubbling, and is the most common form of event propagation. You may very well want to stop this propagation when you just handled an event, and don't want it to keep bubbling up (or see no need for it).

  2. Once your code had a chance to process the event, the browser handles it as well, if that event has a default behavior. For instance, clicking on links navigates to them; submitting forms sends them over to the server side; hitting the Return key in a single-line form field submits it; etc. You may very well want to prevent this default behavior if you do your own handling.

Because stopping one of those aspects means, in 99.9% of the cases, preventing the other one as well, Prototype bundles both in this stop function. Calling it on an event object, stops propagation and prevents the default behavior.


Here's a simple script that prevents a form from being sent to the server side if certain field is empty.

Event.observe('signinForm', 'submit', function(event) {
  var login = $F('login').strip();
  if ('' == login) {
    // Display the issue one way or another

This method can be called either as an instance method or as a generic method. If calling as a generic, pass the instance in as the first argument.