Fast animation of hundreds of elements at once using Stylesheet rules.
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jQuery Mass Animate


jQuery Mass Animate is a tiny but very powerful jQuery extension. It allows to animate hundreds of elements at once and synchronously by using stylesheet rules (instead of animating each element style like normally jQuery does).



It should work with jQuery >= 1.4.3. Tested with Firefox 3/4, Chrome, Opera 11, IE 7/8/9 on Windows and Linux.


Simply add a class (e.g. "mass-animate") to all elements you would like to animate (this is usually pretty fast). Then use massanimate like below:

$.massanimate("div.mass-animate") // creates a new empty style rule
.css({width: 50, height: 50, opacity: 0}) // set some initial style attributes
.animate({width: 100, height: 100, opacity: 1}, 2000) // animate those attributes
.animate({width: 50, height: 50, opacity: 0}, 2000, function() { // another animation
	// `this` is the massanimate object
	// do something afterwards
	var rule = this.rule(); // access the style rule (returns a CSSStyleRule object)
	this.remove(); // remove the added style rule and all its style attributes

I hardly recommend setting the initial style attributes with the css method that you want to animate. You can also set the styles using css between the animate methods.

remove deletes the rule again. After that you can't add new animations to that rule. remove is best called in a callback when the animation is finished (like in the example above). A successful remove returns true. When remove is called while an animation of this rule is still in progress then it is ignored and false is returned.

The remove is optional. You can also use Mass Animate to just set styles without any animations.

Keep in mind that Mass Animate can't animate already set element styles. This is because Mass Animate uses normal style sheet definitions which can't override element styles (!important does not seem to work with jQuery animations).


Thanks to David Tang and his very nice Javascript Stylesheet rule library JSS. Mass Animate reuses some of his code to setup the CSS rules.


Dual licensed under the MIT and GPL licenses:

Copyright(c) 2011 Kai Schlamp