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The Smashing Book #5

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MooTools Tutorials and Resources Round-Up


MooTools is a JavaScript framework that focus on being flexible, modular and compact. While still not on par in number of resources with other JavaScript frameworks such as jQuery, the MooTools community has generated a large number of articles, tutorials and third party plugins that can be considered and mature and sophisticated enough for most needs.

A word about MooTools Link

One of the core principles of MooTools is to provide a better application programming interface for JavaScript developers, making the language better by extending its native elements and providing more concise object oriented utilities.

As a consequence of that, some people may be inclined to think that MooTools treats browser scripting as a less important feature. Indeed, MooTools is not a DOM scripting toolkit, but the whole purpose of making JavaScript better is that developers have a more solid base over which to create readable, robust, reusable browser scripting libraries.

Articles/Tutorials Link

Starting points Link

The official documentation1
A really good and complete documentation. It has a very intuitive format that makes it both an excellent reference and tutorial.

Official Documentation

jQuery vs MooTools2
A mature discussion on the differences between jQuery and MooTools.

MooTools for the non-programmer
A three part series of tutorials about MooTools targeted at non-programmers:

  • Part 1
  • Part 2
  • Part 3

The MooWalkthrough
A wiki-based walk through MooTools intended to introducing the library.

The MooTorial
A collection of tutorials to guide MooTools’ newcomers.


MooTools classes3
A basic view on MooTools’ use of classes and how it compares to other approaches.

Natives and Elements4
Explains what are native types in JavaScript and how MooTools extends and provide means for anyone to extend their functionality. It also explains the Element class.

Select and create elements
Tutorial on how to select specific elements as well as how to create and insert new elements on the page.

30 days of MooTools
A series of tutorials about key features in MooTools. (It is still incomplete – it currently has 23 tutorials)

  1. Intro to the Library5
  2. Selectors6
  3. Intro to Using Arrays7
  4. Functions8
  5. Event Handling9
  6. Manipulating HTML10
  7. Set and Get Style Properties11
  8. Input Filtering Part I – Numbers12
  9. Input Filtering Part II – Strings13
  10. Using FX.Tween14
  11. Using Fx.Morph, Fx Options and Fx Events15
  12. Drag and Drop using Drag.Move16
  13. Regular Expressions17
  14. Periodical and Intro to Hashes18
  15. Sliders19
  16. Sortables and Intro to Methods20
  17. Accordion21
  18. Classes part I22
  19. Tooltips23
  20. A Few Mootools Tabs24
  21. Classes part II25
  22. Fx.Elements26
  23. Fx.Slide27

Intermediate Link

Facebook modal box28
It reproduces Facebook’s modal box in MooTools. A Very simple solution to get a Facebook-style modal box without the need of any external plugin.

Using custom missing image graphics29
A very elegant and extremely simple solution to handling missing image graphics with a custom fallback image.

Sending Email notifications for broken images30
A logic follow-up to the previous tutorial. It shows how to use AJax and PHP to send email notification on the occurrence of broken images.

Skype-style buttons31
How to create a Skype-style button.

skype style

MooTools Flashlight effect32
An eccentric, however interesting effect.


Snook-style navigation33
A MooTools revisit of a tutorial34 by Jonathan Snook.

Explode effect on Ajax page loads35
How to create an effect that makes the current content ‘explode’ off-screen while another content is fetched and loaded via ajax.

Font-Size scroller with Cookie save36
Shows how to create a scroller that sets the font-size and store this information in a cookie.

font-size Scroller

Track Ajax link clicks using Google Analytics37
A very insightful solution to tracking ajax-based navigation in Google Analytics.

Periodicar Ajax updates using MooTools38
Shows how to implement a very simple function that periodically makes a ajax request on the background.

helps you determine if caps lock is on39
A nice and simple technique for easily determining if caps lock in on. Might help improve usability, specially in login scenarios.

Caps Lock on

Simulate Flash horizontal navigation40
Tutorial on how to create a horizontal navigation web site.

Product Highlighter41
Slick rollover mechanism that works well as a product highlighter.

Product Highlighter

Auto caption images42
How to automatically extract alt and title content and add it as captions to images on the page.

toElement method43
Explains and shows an interesting use case for the toElement method in MooTools.

outerClick event44
An implementation of a custom event for when a user clicks outside of a given element.

Saving a sortalbe nested list45
A tutorial with a full implementation of a sortable nested list, from MooTools to MySQL.

CSS sprites with MooTools46
A MooTools version of an article published on A List Apart about CSS sprites using jQuery.


Explains what is the Swiff class and how it can be used to make flash elements communicate with JavaScript.

Fixing sIFR printing with CSS and MooTools48
The use of sIRF can help you achieve the typography you want on the screen, but there may be problems when the user tries to print the page. This article shows how to work around that.

Advanced Topics Link

The Dollar Safe Mode49
An article explaining a good practice for plugin developers that want to make their libraries compliant with “MooTools 1.2.3 Dollar Safety”, which means that it respects the global name $ in edge cases where people need to use more than one JavaScript library at the same time.

Custom Events50
A nice example on how to define and explore custom events (such as alt+clicking) in MooTools.

Custom Events

Element Storage51
An overview on the Element Storage functionality. How it works and how it could be used to make code easier to write and better organised.

Chaining with MooTools52
A guide to the MooTools’s Chain class and how it can be used in custom classes.


Set style per media53
Using JavaScript for dynamic styling may defeat the purpose of having a style for each media, this tutorial shows one way to be media-specific while dynamically changing CSS properties.

Creating a custom “:selected” pseudo-class in MooTools54
How to create your own pseudo-class selector in MooTools.

The Mouse Ghost55
An interesting experiment on saving the cursor coordinates and then reproducing its movements.

Ghost Mouse

5 Advanced techniques for MooTools development56
Things that you don’t get by reading documentation.

Don’t repeat your Moo57
A very insightful article on how to achieve reusability in your JavaScript code with MooTools, adhering to the DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself) principle.

dont repeat your moo

Private methods in MooTools58
Shows how to implement private methods in JavaScript with MooTools.

The Singleton class mutator59
A tutorial that shows how to write a class mutator that implements the singleton design pattern. A class mutator is a macro-like method/idiom to be used inside a class definition

Binds class mutator60
A mutator that binds a method to the instance of a class so that it can be accessed thorough the ‘this’ keyword even in the class definition.

Plugins Link

Scroll smoothly through anchors within a single page.

A full-fledged image cropping/resizing/rotating plugin.


A widget bar that manages a wide variety of social bookmarking and social network content sharing systems.

MooTools Event Calendar 64
A MooTools Calendar class that supports week/day/month view and the addition of events.


It creates a container div that allows users to scroll through a containing image. Its intended use case if to horizontally scroll through a panorama image.


A Slider plugin that supports both vertical and horizontal bars that can be freely dragged or snap to predefined steps.

Sort and filter tables.

A data visualisation plugin that explores the possibilities of the canvas element.


Moosture 69
A Mouse gesture framework that allow you to trigger an event based on a predefined mouse gesture.


An inline editor plugin that makes all elements with a specified class name editable and adds a special onSave hook method to save the changes.

Image Menu71
A horizontal menu that reveals more of the image as you rollover it.

Image Menu

Sexy sliding JavaScript side bar menu72
Generates a sliding sidebar menu.

A full-fledged image slider that resembles cover flow.


Simple 3D Carousel74
A 3d carousel.

Allows you to include fancy transitions in CSS based hover menus.

Layout and Style Link

A color picker utility.

Rounded Corners77
Creates round corners on divs on the fly.

Generate image reflections on the fly with a wide range of customisation options.


A class that allows you to dynamically organise content into multiple columns.

A MooTools class that allows the customisation of how the scrollbar looks on scrollable divs.


Tooltips Link

Window Growl81
Tooltips in the same style as the Mac OS X’s Growl system.


A tooltip showdown.

Toolstips that can have html or plain text content loaded with Ajax or inline.

Form Usability Link

This plugin allows you to define a groups of validation rules to be applied to forms.

Features simple to create date pickers.

Date Picker

A simple form validation plugin.

JavaScript Time Picker87
A time picker plugin. It uses the same idea as the date picker pattern, but applied to time picking.

Completely customised multiple select elements.

Multiple Select

HTML Form Tips89
Inspired by Twitter, it features a “remaining characters” count that’s automatically updates as the user types.

Select Box Factory v1.090
A class that makes select elements support multiple selection and selection drill down according to a variety of options.

Slideshow Link

Slideshow 2 91
Slideshow plugin, resembles the slideshow in iPhoto and Photos in Mac OS X and iPhone respectively.

Slideshow 2

SmoothGallery 2.092
A simple and elegant slideshow plugin.

Ajax Link

Fancy upload 93
A plugin that integrates Ajax and the Swiff functionality in MooTools to create an upload manager.

MooTabs – Tiny tab class for MooTools94
A small plugin that helps in the creation of tabbed navigation through elements that can be retrieved via ajax.

Ajax login form95
A very simple ajax-based login form.

Page Loader96
Provides classes to work with loading content via ajax and displaying results in the current page. It also provides a history class that manages the history of the loading area.

Page Loader

MooTools Dotter97
A simple and effective Ajax-loading indicator that relies solely on JavaScript and CSS instead of using images or animated GIFs.

MooTools Dotter

Content Overlay Link

A port of the Lightbox plugin that handles a collection of images in a overlay.

MediaBoxAdvanced 99
Content overlaying that works with several different media types.


Image overlaying plugin. Simple and elegant.

An overlaying plugin that supports images, flash, video, mp3s and html.


SlideItMoo 102
It packs a banner or image slider with an overlay image display effect that resembles Lightbox.

mooSlide 3.2103
Shows an overlay window at the bottom or at the top of the page with a variety of options.


Plugin Collections Link

A collection of plugins that provides special effects, table management and more.

Clientcide Plugins 105
A large collections of plugins from the Clientcide blog.

A collection of widgets written on top of MooTools, from datagrids, to calendars to JsonRPC.

Rich user interfaces Link

Mocha UI 107
A rich user interface library, it makes web applications look and behave like desktop applications.


JxLib 108
A library for rich client user interfaces.


File Manager 109
A complete implementation of a file system explorer that let’s you navigate through the files, rename and preview them.

File Manager

Text editor extensions Link

Plugins for Coda Link

Plugins for TextMate Link

Footnotes Link

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Diogo Terror is a web developer that is passionate about good design, whether that's in the graphic sense or in the computer science sense.

  1. 1

    Thanks for showcasing some of my MooTools plugins :) More to come.

  2. 2

    Thanx, Great Post.

  3. 3

    I still like jQuery more then MooTools.

  4. 4

    I think more credit needs to be given to David Walsh, considering over half of the links on this page are from his blog.

  5. 5

    Hi! I think you really missed Milkbox in the content overlay section! :)

  6. 6

    really helpful and useful post thanks Diogo Terror!

  7. 7

    Before I started to use jQuery I tried some things in MooTools, but I gotta say I’m pretty happy I got to know jQuery, which in my eyes is much more intuitiv and fits my coding more than MooTools. But nice Round-Up btw.

  8. 8

    Mootools should not be compared to Jquery, as mootools is pretty much an object orientated take at javascript where as Jquery is a dom toolkit, its like comparing a tree to fruit.

  9. 9

    Great list. Thx

  10. 10

    Mootools really is great, anyone who has ever got frustrated with jQuery and decided to learn how to use mootools will testify. Plus not having to include a million plugins for the simplest things anymore is always good.

    Then only prob is the lack of decent docs (notice the search on the main site doesnt work as well)

    I recommend it highly

  11. 11

    The MooTools team thanks you for your efforts in compiling this. Great work Diogo!

    David Walsh
    MooTools Project Team

  12. 12

    I thank you, David, both as a writer and MooTools user, for giving me/us so much material to work with and write about :)

  13. 13

    Fábio M. Costa

    July 28, 2009 9:26 am

    Loved the post, Mootools has plugins for everything!

  14. 14

    Great Article!!
    Tanks a Ton !
    Smashing is really Great !!
    here is one that I worked on one of the mooflow slider , I like to share ( Home page+ Tour Page ) (Tour Page)

  15. 15

    MooTools FTW! Fantastic post, thanks :)

  16. 16

    Anyone interested in the differences between jQuery and MooTools needs to read

    Summary: they both rock, but in different ways.

  17. 17

    You can also find some plugins on which is an inofficial mootools plugin repository.

  18. 18

    If you ever wanted to do the Apple-style search bars. here’s a handy MooTools library we wrote to override the form element styles cross-browser:

  19. 19

    Mootools Rocks!

  20. 20

    Great Post! MooTools is nice. I have recently been using jQuery more, but have no reason to not enjoy MooTools also!

  21. 21

    Nice article, I use some Mootools and some JQuery, I’ll check this out for more ideas when I get a sec.. thanks!

  22. 22

    This is a great comprehensive list! Thanks for posting them.

  23. 23

    Love the ‘tools. I was doing some jQuery the other day and was completely frustrated, not to say that it isnt a good framework, just isnt my style.

    Great post, MooTools needs some love

  24. 24

    Great post. MooTools is the framework I use the most, almost every day. Thanks to the MooTools Team for this powerful framework. Cheers!

  25. 25

    This is awesome…. this really gets into all things moo….;-)

  26. 26

    So MooTools actually just a tiny script that modular and the core was separated from UI (like JQuery)? I never though of that… i’ve been thinking MooTools as a large framework compared with ExtJS, but looks like i were wrong

  27. 27

    Thanx, really great post, I would say. Do you have the same one with jQuery?

  28. 28

    [flamebait] this probably would have been more useful a few years back. obviously there are still mootools users but i think jquery, by and large, has become the defacto for javascript/prototype frameworks. [/flamebait]

  29. 29

    There are hundreds of color pickers for JQuery and not a descent one for mootools,

  30. 30

    Thank you for that great list. Mootools is my personal JS-Framework Fav, the syntax is more logikal in my eyes than it is in jQuery. I heard that Dojo is getting better and better each day, an article about it would also be very nice ;-)


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