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Make an HTML table sortable

 

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Question:

I need to display data in a sortable HTML table. How can I do that?

Answer:

HTML itself does not offer sorting in the TABLE structure. You need to use javascript for this.

I found a free javascript that can be plugged into your site with a minimum of change of your HTML document.

Simply include the sortTable.js file into your document - ideally within the HEAD section.

Give your table a unique name and also specify the ID property with the same name.

Call the initialization initTable() with the ID of your table.
If you have multiple tables, you need to call initTable() several times.

Make sure to have no row spans.
Make sure to have no col spans in the header (you may have it in the data rows though!).

You can download the javascript code file here: sortTable.js


Here the sorted table in action - click on the table header row to sort by any column:

First name Last name Age
Bill Jones 45
Ann Moss 35
Jane Michels 40

<script src="/software/sortTable.js">

<Table id=usertable border=1 cellspacing=2 cellpadding=2>
//..
</Table>

<script language="javascript">
initTable("usertable");
</script>

Comments:

2009-10-02, 12:28:27
anonymous  
rating
This script works well if the table has different background colors to help show different rows. The only downside to keeping the background coloring is that it means hyperlinks and text colors also do not move with the text when resorted. This breaks links in a table and can incorrectly color text.

 

 

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