Override onclick

Sometimes it is required to override the onclick values pre-populated by server to implement our own handlers and also call the overriden functions. The code below does this very reliably without any browser specific hacks.

Working on a recent recent project required me to perform some operations on a click of a button but the only complication was that the button already had a javascript call on the click of a button. More specifically the button had it's onclick attribute set to a javascript function call. Something like:

<button onclick="someFunc(arg1, arg2)">Click Me</button>

I wanted to run my own operations on the click of this button and then call someFunc(arg1, arg2). I searched but did not get any solution (surprisingly).

I could have easily used eval or Function to parse the onclick value and run it after my operations were complete but to avoid the eval way I invented a simpler solution.

I created a dummy anchor element and set its onclick to the onclick of the button, then removed the onclick from the button registered and added a new function to execute on click of the button. In this function I performed the required operations and then triggered the click of the dummy element. Thus I was able to execute both my operations and the default operations (someFunc(arg1, arg2)))

In the below example, by default the submit button modifies the innerHTML of the #output span to "onclick text". Then in the JavaScript code below that the this operation is overriden to first show a message and then change the text.

  <span id="output">Nothing yet</span>
  <button id="submit" onclick="document.getElementById('output').innerHTML = 'onclick text'">Click Me</button>
  <script type="text/javascript">
    (function() {
        var buttonElement = document.getElementById('submit'),
            dummyElement  =  document.createElement('a'),
            outputElement = document.getElementById('output');
        alert(typeof  buttonElement.getAttribute('onclick'));
        if (typeof buttonElement.getAttribute('onclick') === 'function') {
            dummyElement.onclick = buttonElement.getAttribute('onclick');
        else {
            dummyElement.setAttribute('onclick', buttonElement.getAttribute('onclick'));
        buttonElement.onclick  =  function () {
            alert('Ok  overriden. Now call the base onclick');

Please share if you have any other better techniques to accomplish this