Smoothly scroll to some absolute vertical position (HTML)

Jun 12, 2016  

I was working on and wanted to make the page scroll a bit to display the results of a file analysis, when they became available.

I Googled around quite a bit, found lots of implementations based on jQuery, and a few which would work in plain JavaScript.

Here is the final ES2015 version I’ve finally decided to use:

function scrollTo (to, duration) {
  const doc       = document.documentElement;
  const body      = document.body;
  const start     = doc.scrollTop;
  const change    = to - start;
  const increment = 20;

  function easeInOutQuad (t, b, c, d) {
    t = t / (d / 2);
    if (t < 1) {
      return c / 2 * t * t + b;
    } else {
      return -c / 2 * (t * (t - 2) - 1) + b;

  let currentTime = 0;

  function animateScroll () {
    currentTime += increment;
    const val = easeInOutQuad (currentTime, start, change, duration);
    doc.scrollTop  = val; // for IE
    body.scrollTop = val; // for Chrome
    if (currentTime < duration) {
      setTimeout (animateScroll, increment);
  animateScroll ();

Nothing really fancy here, really. And no need for jQuery.

Just call scrollTo (400, 1000) to have the page scroll smoothly to the absolute position of 600px in 1000 milliseconds (this will result in 50 scrolls, since the increment is set to 20).

The code for easeInOutQuad was adapted from Easing Equations from Robert Penner and basically provides two quadratic curves (one where the time goes from zero to half the duration, another for the rest of the time).

Note however that IE and Chrome require to set scrollTop on different DOM objects; I don’t detect the browser, but rather just set the position on both the document object and on the DOM body.