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Many components in the Design System use JavaScript to enhance their behaviour and improve usability.

A precompiled JavaScript file containing all of the scripts for Design System components is provided in the Design System’s npm package at /dist/scripts/design-system.js.

Including this JavaScript file in your page adds a window.DS object to the global scope.

Initialise all components

Use initAll() to initialise all components on the current page.


If you do not want to initialise components on the whole page, you can specify a container element to initialise components within.


This could be useful when you have loaded new content into a section of the page and need to initialise new DS components in that section.

The initAll method will find any elements with a data-module attribute that corresponds to a Design System component. It will create a new instance of that component and initialise it. For example, this is the markup for a ‘back to top’ component, with its data-module attribute.

<div class="ds_back-to-top" data-module="ds-back-to-top">
    <a href="#" class="ds_back-to-top__button">
        Back to top
        <svg class="ds_icon  ds_back-to-top__icon" aria-hidden="true" role="img">...</svg>

initAll() also initialises the Design System's analytics tracking script, which adds data attributes to elements that analytics tools can use.

Initialise individual components

If you need finer control, the JavaScript classes for each component are in window.DS.components. The component classes all have an init method that is used to initialise the component.

If you wanted to set up some new accordions, for example, you would select the accordion elements and then create a component instance for each and initialise them.

const myNewAccordions = []'[data-module="ds-accordion"]'));
myNewAccordions.forEach(accordion =>
    new window.DS.components.Accordion(accordion).init()

Some Design System components accept additional options when they are instantiated. These are detailed on the documentation page for those components.

Import Design System JavaScript

All Design System JavaScript is written as ES6 modules. They can be imported into your own JavaScript as needed.

This is an example of importing and using the ‘temporary focus’ helper. ‘Temporary focus’ is used for focus management to aid accessibility.

import temporaryFocus from '/path/to/node_modules/@scottish-government/design-system/src/base/tools/temporary-focus/temporary-focus';



Users without JavaScript

Design System components are designed to still be usable without JavaScript, for users who not have JavaScript enabled in their browser. For example, for Date Picker and Autocomplete, the JavaScript is a progressive enhancement on form fields, and the fallback behaviour is that users will be presented with standard input fields to complete instead.

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