Accepted answer

The solution is pretty simple when you remember that the this binding in the attr() call refers to the associated HTML (SVG) element:

    d => this.parentNode.childNodes[1].getComputedTextLength() + 20

The rect is the first element in a list of SVG elements that make up the displayed node. The text for that node is at index 1 (as follows from the append calls).


Normally I would comment, but I don't have enough reputation points. The accepted answer has the right idea, but it doesn't work, how he coded it. The first problem is, he uses an arrow function instead of an anonymus function. In arrow functions, this has a different scope. So use an anonymus function here.

The second problem is the order of rect and text, as you can see in the source code, in the question. Since rect is appended before text, the parent node doesn't have the child text yet. So you have to just append the rect, then append the text and set its attrs and then set the attrs of rect. So the solution is:

var rects = nodeEnter.append("rect")

var nodeText = nodeEnter.append("text")
    .attr("class", "node-text")
    .attr("y", rectH / 2)
    .attr("dy", ".35em")
    .text(function (d) {
nodeText // The bounding box is valid not before the node addition happened actually.
    .attr("x", function (d) {
        return (rectW - this.getBBox().width) / 2;

    .attr('width', function () {
        return this.parentNode.childNodes[1].getComputedTextLength();
    .attr("height", rectH);

Note: If you don't need the parameter d, you don't have to accept it, like I did.


I would use getComputedTextLength to measure the text. I don't know if there is an equivalent for this in D3.js My answer is using plain javascript and is assuming that the rect and the text center is {x:50,y:25 } and you are using text{dominant-baseline:middle;text-anchor:middle;}

let text_length = txt.getComputedTextLength();

rct.setAttributeNS(null,"width",text_length )
rct.setAttributeNS(null,"x",(50 - text_length/2) )
svg{border:1px solid}
<svg viewBox="0 0 100 50">
  <rect x="25" y="12.5" width="50" height="25" stroke="black" fill="none" id="rct" />
  <text x="50" y="25" id="txt">Test text</text>

Alternatively instead of txt.getComputedTextLength() you may use txt.textLength.baseVal.value

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