The [, arguments...]) method takes a function f as an argument. When is executed, it executes the f, passing to it this, the selection on which call was called. If f has k parameters, the first one being the selection, then k-1 additional arguments must be passed to call. When f is executed, the additional values passed to call are passed to f. returns the selection on which it was called so it can be called in a chain.

This method is useful when you have a set of manipulations that you need to run on multiple selections.

In the example, below we have a method named addElements which adds n aquamarine colored divs before each element in the selection. Note: this isn’t possible with the selection.insert method which can only insert elements as children of the elements in the selection.

function addElements(selection, n) {
  let nodeList = selection.nodes();
  for (let i = 0; i < nodeList.length; i++) {
    for (let j = 0; j < n; j++) {
      let newElm = d3.create("div").node();
      newElm.className = "box aqua-box";
      nodeList[i].parentNode.insertBefore(newElm, nodeList[i]);

function addElementsWithCall() {
    d3.selectAll("#callBoxes > div")
      .call(addElements, 2);

<button onclick="addElementsWithCall()">Insert Elements</button>

<div id="callBoxes" class="container">
    <div class="box pink-box"></div>
    <div class="box pink-box"></div>
    <div class="box pink-box"></div>