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< @angular/coreAngular/docs/11/api/core/contentchildren



Parameter decorator that configures a content query.

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Use to get the QueryList of elements or directives from the content DOM. Any time a child element is added, removed, or moved, the query list will be updated, and the changes observable of the query list will emit a new value.

Content queries are set before the ngAfterContentInit callback is called.

Does not retrieve elements or directives that are in other components' templates, since a component's template is always a black box to its ancestors.

Metadata Properties:

  • selector - The directive type or the name used for querying.
  • descendants - If true include all descendants of the element. If false then only query direct children of the element.
  • emitDistinctChangesOnly - The QueryList#changes observable will emit new values only if the QueryList result has changed. The default value will change from false to true in v12. When false the changes observable might emit even if the QueryList has not changed.
  • read - Used to read a different token from the queried elements.

Further information available in the Usage Notes...


Usage notes

Here is a simple demonstration of how the ContentChildren decorator can be used.

import {AfterContentInit, ContentChildren, Directive, QueryList} from '@angular/core';

@Directive({selector: 'child-directive'})
class ChildDirective {

@Directive({selector: 'someDir'})
class SomeDir implements AfterContentInit {
  @ContentChildren(ChildDirective) contentChildren!: QueryList<ChildDirective>;

  ngAfterContentInit() {
    // contentChildren is set

Tab-pane example

Here is a slightly more realistic example that shows how ContentChildren decorators can be used to implement a tab pane component.

import {Component, ContentChildren, Directive, Input, QueryList} from '@angular/core';

@Directive({selector: 'pane'})
export class Pane {
  @Input() id!: string;

  selector: 'tab',
  template: `
    <div class="top-level">Top level panes: {{serializedPanes}}</div>
    <div class="nested">Arbitrary nested panes: {{serializedNestedPanes}}</div>
export class Tab {
  @ContentChildren(Pane) topLevelPanes!: QueryList<Pane>;
  @ContentChildren(Pane, {descendants: true}) arbitraryNestedPanes!: QueryList<Pane>;

  get serializedPanes(): string {
    return this.topLevelPanes ? =>', ') : '';
  get serializedNestedPanes(): string {
    return this.arbitraryNestedPanes ? =>', ') : '';

  selector: 'example-app',
  template: `
      <pane id="1"></pane>
      <pane id="2"></pane>
      <pane id="3" *ngIf="shouldShow">
          <pane id="3_1"></pane>
          <pane id="3_2"></pane>

    <button (click)="show()">Show 3</button>
export class ContentChildrenComp {
  shouldShow = false;

  show() {
    this.shouldShow = true;

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