AngularJS - ngHide for oldIE

Yeah I know I know, old IEs are dumb and should be run over by a bus or thrown off a bridge and blah blah blah. But sometimes 20% of your client’s users are using IE7, and another 20% on top of that use IE8, so you’ve got to deal with it.

The trouble is, to support these browsers you need to include a legacy version of Angular, but some pretty basic directives don’t work in these browsers,for example ngHide.

Hiding and showing elements based on whether a scope object is true or false is one of the most common things we do with Angular, so at work we built a custom directive which will work across all browsers.

angular.module('ar.directives', [])
.directive('arHide', function () {
    return {
        scope: {
            arHide: "="
        link: function (scope, element) {
            scope.$watch("arHide", function () {
                if (scope.arHide) {
                } else {

I’ve created a new module called ar.directives, and a new directive called arHide. You can call these what you want, ar is just my initials.

Isolated scope

I’ve then got an isolated scope on the directive, and I’ve created a property within it called arHide. The name of this property will correspond to the way I use the directive in my markup (ar-hide), therefore I can use the shorthand arHide: "=".

Our isolated scope property will always take the value of the ar-hide attribute whenever we use it in our app, and it’s clever enough to recognise the camel-case and look for its equivalent hyphenated attribute.

Adding functionality

The link option can be used when you want a directive to manipulate the DOM. In this case I’ll be adding and removing the ng-hide class when an argument is true or false.

link accepts three arguments:

  • scope, which in this case is my isolated scope from earlier
  • element, which is the element this directive is called from
  • attrs, which is a reference to the attributes of the element passed in

I don’t need attrs in this case so I’ve left it out.

I use $.watch to keep a constant eye on the argument provided in arHide, which translates to the ar-hide attribute in the markup. When this argument resolves to true I add the class ng-hide, if it’s false the class gets removed. Simple as that.


Using the new directive is really simple.

//The element will be hidden if 'valueToTest' is true
<p ar-hide="valueToTest">Hide me if true</p>