Waiting for image to load in JavaScript

I'm making an Ajax call which returns me some info including an image path.

I prepare all this information in my HTML which will be displayed as a kind of popup. I just toggle the visibility of by popup div from hidden to visible.

To set the position of my popup div, I have to calculate depending on the height of the image. So, I have to wait for the image to load to know its dimension before setting position and switching visibility to visible.

I tried tricks with recursion, setTimeout, complete img property, while loop... without success.

So, how can I do this? Maybe I should return dimensions in my Ajax call.


var img = new Image();
img.onload = function() { alert("Height: " + this.height); }
img.src = "http://path/to/image.jpg";

Note that it's important to do it in the order above: First attach the handler, then set the src. If you do it the other way around, and the image is in cache, you may miss the event. JavaScript is run on a single thread in browsers (unless you're using web workers), but browsers are not single-threaded. It's perfectly valid for the browser to see the src, identify the resource is available, load it, trigger the event, look at the element to see if it has any handlers that need to be queued for callback, not see any, and complete the event processing, all between the src line and the line attaching the handler. (The callbacks wouldn't happen between the lines if they were registered, they'd wait in the queue, but if there aren't any, the event isn't required to wait.)

If you use jQuery, you can use its load event.

Have a look at the example:

    if($(this).height() > 100) {

I had a slow CAPTCHA (1st_image) image loading on my page and I wanted to display another image (2nd_image) only AFTER the CAPTCHA image (1st_image) is loaded. So I had to wait for the CAPTCHA (1st_image) image to load first.

Here is the solution that works perfectly fine to wait for an image to load first and then load another image (don't forget to display a "please wait!" image while they are waiting for other image to load):

    function checkImageLoad() {
        if (document.getElementById("1st_image").complete == true) {
            console.log("1st_image Loaded!");
        document.getElementById("2nd_image").src = "http://example.org/2nd_image.png";
<body onload="checkImageLoad();">
<img id="1st_image" src="http://example.org/1st_image.png">
<img id="2nd_image" src="http://example.org/loading_please_wait.gif">

Either the Internet speed is slow or fast, and the browser will wait for the whole page to load with all the images (even if they are linked externally) and then execute the function, so the second image is displayed only after the first image loads fine.

Advanced note: You can use a web page URL in the "src" of the image to load a web page first and then show the image. The purpose is to load the cookie from the external webpage which might effect the second image displayed (like CAPTCHA).

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