How do you access the element HTML from within an Angular attribute directive?

So actually, my comment that you should do a console.log(el.nativeElement) should have pointed you in the right direction, but I didn’t expect the output to be just a string representing the DOM Element.

What you have to do to inspect it in the way it helps you with your problem, is to do a console.log(el) in your example, then you’ll have access to the nativeElement object and will see a property called innerHTML.

Which will lead to the answer to your original question:

let myCurrentContent:string = el.nativeElement.innerHTML; // get the content of your element
el.nativeElement.innerHTML = 'my new content'; // set content of your element

Update for better approach:

Since it’s the accepted answer and web workers are getting more important day to day (and it’s considered best practice anyway) I want to add this suggestion by Mark Rajcok here.

The best way to manipulate DOM Elements programmatically is using the Renderer:

constructor(private _elemRef: ElementRef, private _renderer: Renderer) { 
    this._renderer.setElementProperty(this._elemRef.nativeElement, 'innerHTML', 'my new content');


Since Renderer is deprecated now, use Renderer2 instead with setProperty


This question with its answer explained the console.log behavior.

Which means that console.dir(el.nativeElement) would be the more direct way of accessing the DOM Element as an “inspectable” Object in your console for this situation.

Hope this helped.

Leave a Comment