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A gsap.context() offers two key benefits:

  • Collects all GSAP animations and ScrollTriggers that are created within the supplied function so that you can easily revert() or kill()ALL of them at once. No need to keep track of a bunch of variables, Arrays, etc. This is particularly useful in React modules or anywhere you need to be able to "clean up" by reverting elements to their original state.
  • [optionally] Scopes all selector text to a particular Element or Ref. This can help simplify your code quite a bit and avoid needing to create lots of Refs in React/Angular. Any GSAP-related selector text inside the supplied function will only apply to descendants of the Element/Ref.

Let's say you've got a big block of GSAP code that's creating a bunch of different animations and you need to be able to revert() them all...

let ctx = gsap.context(() => {;

// then later...
ctx.revert(); // BOOM! Every GSAP animation created in that function gets reverted!

Scoping selector text

You can optionally pass in an Element or React Ref or Angular ElementRef and then all the selector text in the supplied function will be scoped to that particular Element/Ref which can greatly simplify your code. No more creating a Ref for every element you want to animate!

let ctx = gsap.context(() => {".box", {...}) // <- normal selector text, automatically scoped to myRefOrElement
gsap.from(".circle", {...});

}, myRefOrElement); // <- scope!!!

The scope can be selector text itself like ".myClass", or an Element, React Ref or Angular ElementRef.

Adding to a Context

Perhaps you need to set up event handlers (like mouse clicks) that create new animations that should also be collected in the Context, but obviously those events will occur AFTER the Context's function already executed. No problem! You can add your own methods to a Context object so that when they run, they'll automatically add any resulting GSAP animations/ScrollTriggers to the Context:

let ctx = gsap.context((self) => {

// use any arbitrary string as a name; it'll be added to the Context object, so in this case you can call ctx.onClick() later...
self.add("onClick", (e) => {; // <-- gets added to the Context!

}, myRefOrElement);

// now the Context has an onClick() method we can tap into and any animations in that function will get added to the Context
myButton.addEventListener("click", (e) => ctx.onClick(e));

Or you can directly add things to the Context immediately like this (function as the first parameter):

// create context
let ctx = gsap.context(() => {...});

// then later, add to it:
ctx.add(() => {; // now all these get added to the Context.

Cleanup function

You can optionally return a "cleanup function" that should be called if/when the context gets reverted. This can contain your own custom cleanup code:

let ctx = gsap.context(() => {
return () => {
// my custom cleanup code. Called when ctx.revert() is triggered.

You can return a clean up function in any .add() function too; They'll all get called when the Context's revert() is invoked.

Ignoring certain animations/ScrollTriggers

In very uncommon situations, you may want to create certain GSAP animations and/or ScrollTriggers inside the function that should be excluded from the Context (not reverted/killed when the Context gets reverted/killed) in which case you can use an ignore() like this:

let ctx = gsap.context((self) => {; // <- will get reverted when ctx.revert() is called
self.ignore(() => {; // <- will NOT get reverted when ctx.revert() is called. Ignored, not recorded in the Context.

Tips & Caveats

  • When revert() is called on a Context, it is permanent for the animations/ScrollTriggers it contained. They get reverted and killed and the Context clears itself out, making things eligible for garbage collection. But more animations could still be added after that and revert() could be called on the same Context again to revert/kill those.
  • A Context is not meant to serve as a way of controlling animations. That's what Timelines are for. A Context is simply for reverting/killing and for [optionally] defining a scope for selector text.
  • The Context object itself is passed to the function, so you can reference it easily, like gsap.context((self) => { ... self.add(...); });
  • gsap.context() was added in version 3.11.0

React Demo

gsap.context() works around the React 18 "double-call of useEffect() in Strict Mode" issue that normally breaks from() logic - just call revert() on the Context in your useEffect() cleanup function: