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How to get all direct descendants that match a test condition with vanilla JS

Let’s say you have some HTML like this.

<div id="sandwiches">
	<div id="one" class="tuna">This will match</div>
		Hello, world!

		<div id="two" class="tuna">This will not</div>
	<div id="three" class="tuna">So will this</div>

You want to get only direct descendants of the #sandwich element that have the .tuna class: #one and #three. The #two element also has the .tuna class but is nested inside another element, so we don’t want that one.

You can use the Element.querySelectorAll() method to get all elements by a certain selector inside another element, but it will search the entire tree in that element and return #one, #two, and #three.

let sandwiches = document.querySelector('#sandwiches');

// Not what we want
let tuna = sandwiches.querySelectorAll('.tuna');

We could also try using the Node.children property, but that returns all direct descendants, regardless of class.

// Not what we want, either
let tuna = sandwiches.children;

To do this, we need to combine Node.children with a few other techniques.

We can use Array.from() to turn the NodeList that Node.children returns into an array, and then use the Array.filter() method to remove an elements that don’t match a test we specify.

// This WILL work
let tuna = Array.from(sandwiches.children).filter(function (elem) {
	return elem.matches('.tuna');

Here’s a demo.