Two-way binding [(...)]

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Two-way binding [(...)]

Two-way binding gives your app a way to share data between a component class and its template.

See the live example for a working example containing the code snippets in this guide.

Basics of two-way binding

Two-way binding does two things:

  1. Sets a specific element property.
  2. Listens for an element change event.

Angular offers a special two-way data binding syntax for this purpose, [()]. The [()] syntax combines the brackets of property binding, [], with the parentheses of event binding, ().

[( )] = banana in a box

Visualize a banana in a box to remember that the parentheses go inside the brackets.

The [()] syntax is easy to demonstrate when the element has a settable property called x and a corresponding event named xChange. Here's a SizerComponent that fits this pattern. It has a size value property and a companion sizeChange event:

import { Component, Input, Output, EventEmitter } from '@angular/core';

  selector: 'app-sizer',
  templateUrl: './sizer.component.html',
  styleUrls: ['./sizer.component.css']
export class SizerComponent {

  @Input()  size: number | string;
  @Output() sizeChange = new EventEmitter<number>();

  dec() { this.resize(-1); }
  inc() { this.resize(+1); }

  resize(delta: number) {
    this.size = Math.min(40, Math.max(8, +this.size + delta));

  <button (click)="dec()" title="smaller">-</button>
  <button (click)="inc()" title="bigger">+</button>
  <label [style.font-size.px]="size">FontSize: {{size}}px</label>

The initial size is an input value from a property binding. Clicking the buttons increases or decreases the size, within min/max value constraints, and then raises, or emits, the sizeChange event with the adjusted size.

Here's an example in which the AppComponent.fontSizePx is two-way bound to the SizerComponent:

<app-sizer [(size)]="fontSizePx"></app-sizer>
<div [style.font-size.px]="fontSizePx">Resizable Text</div>

The AppComponent.fontSizePx establishes the initial SizerComponent.size value.

fontSizePx = 16;

Clicking the buttons updates the AppComponent.fontSizePx via the two-way binding. The revised AppComponent.fontSizePx value flows through to the style binding, making the displayed text bigger or smaller.

The two-way binding syntax is really just syntactic sugar for a property binding and an event binding. Angular desugars the SizerComponent binding into this:

<app-sizer [size]="fontSizePx" (sizeChange)="fontSizePx=$event"></app-sizer>

The $event variable contains the payload of the SizerComponent.sizeChange event. Angular assigns the $event value to the AppComponent.fontSizePx when the user clicks the buttons.

Two-way binding in forms

The two-way binding syntax is a great convenience compared to separate property and event bindings. It would be convenient to use two-way binding with HTML form elements like <input> and <select>. However, no native HTML element follows the x value and xChange event pattern.

For more on how to use two-way binding in forms, see Angular NgModel.

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