Day 22: How to Draw a Clock with SVG and JavaScript

SVG elements can be manipulated from JavaScript the same way as any other HTML element. In this example, we are using a short code snipped to show the actual time on a clock. We access the hour and minute hands in JavaScript with getElementById then set their transform attribute with a rotation that reflects the current time.

There’s another trick here worth mentioning. The dots here showing each hour are drawn as a dashed circle. This works similarly as we can set the border-style CSS property for regular HTML elements, but more sophisticated. In SVG we can fine-tune the length of each dash segment and the space in between with the stroke-dasharray property. We can also set an offset with stroke-dashoffset. That’s what we use here to show the dots for each hour.

<svg width="200" height="200" viewBox="-100 -100 200 200">
  <rect x="-100" y="-100" width="200" height="200" fill="#CD803D" />

  <circle r="55" stroke="#FCCE7B" stroke-width="10" fill="white" />

    stroke-dasharray="6 17.56194490192345"

  <g stroke="#5f4c6c" stroke-linecap="round">
    <line id="hours" y2="-20" stroke-width="8" />
    <line id="minutes" y2="-35" stroke-width="6" />
  window.addEventListener("DOMContentLoaded", () => {
    const hoursElement = document.getElementById("hours");
    const minutesElement = document.getElementById("minutes");

    const hour = new Date().getHours() % 12;
    const minute = new Date().getMinutes();

    hoursElement.setAttribute("transform", `rotate(${(360 / 12) * hour})`);
    minutesElement.setAttribute("transform", `rotate(${(360 / 60) * minute})`);

You can find a more detailed explanation of a similar clock in this YouTube tutorial.