A JS library for producing color formatted data tables
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Latest commit 0ccf030 Nov 14, 2014 @redroot redroot fix for empty cells



-> Demo here

Harlequin is a utility for applying color highlighting to HTML data tables, useful for showing the distribution of data. You can do this by column, by row, or across the whole table. Examples are available on the index.html page. You can also specify your own custom painting methods.

Version: 0.6

Tested in FF, Chrome and Safari and IE7+


  • jQuery 1.3+ or Zepto 0.6+
  • Appropriate markup. Column headers must be th elements in a thead, the data to stripe must in td elements inside a tbody.

Basic Usage

The basic usage for Harlequin is:


The first parameter being the id of the table you wish to stripe, the second being the direction you wish to stripe:

  • column: This will colour cells according to the data in each column.
  • row: This will colour cells according to the data in each row.
  • both: This will colour cells according to the data across the table

Harlequin will only stripe segments with the configurable class color on a specific element depending on the direction.

For column, this class must be applied to the th element at the top of each column:

        <th class="color">Cost</th>
        <th class="color">Profic</th>

For row, this class must be on the tr element:

      <tr class="color">...</tr>
      <tr class="color">...</tr>

For both, this setting isn't necessary


Harlequin provides a number of methods to configure how the data is coloured.


Harlequin will colour between two hues, which are set to red (0 as the start hue) and green (120 as the end hue) by default, and will colour with lower values being red and higher values being green, or low-to-high (start to end). For any direction to can reverse this order with the data attribute data-sort set to high-to-low, the element requiring this dependent on the direction:

  • column: The th element at the top of each column, e.g. <th class="color" data-sort="high-to-low">
  • row: The tr element for each row, e.g. <tr class="color" data-sort="high-to-low">
  • both: The table element itself, e.g. <table id="mytable" data-sort="high-to-low">


An options object can can be passed as a third parameter to the a paint function call, allowing you to configure the display further.

    Harlequin.stripe("mytable","column", {
      color_class: "color" // the class Harlequin will look for when colouring, default 'color'
      start_hue: 0, // the start hue, 0-360, defaults to 0 (red)
      end_hue: 120, // the end hue, 0-360, defaults to 120 (green)
      sat: 90, // the saturation of the hue, 0-100, defaults to 90
      lightness: 70, // the lightness of the colour, 0-100, defaults to 70
      colors: null // an array of hex colours, start to end, to colour by, defaults to null

Most of these are straightforward, but here is an example of specifying an array of colours, in order, start to end:

      colors:  [

Keep in mind by setting an arrow of colours you will be ignoring all the HSL configuration and the sort-order will not apply. To reverse the colours, simply reverse the elements in the array.

Painting Modes

Harlequin comes with two painting modes, Harlequin.stripe and Harlequin.bar, but also let you define custom ways of painting the cell. To use this you must register each one using Harlequin.register(name,function):

  var size = Math.floor(((cell.value-min)/(max-min)) * 14) + 12;
  var grey = 200 - Math.floor(((cell.value-min)/(max-min)) * 200);
         .css("border-bottom","1px solid "+color);


The parameters for an custom painter function are:

  • cell : an object with
    • el : this table cell, as a jQuery object,
    • orig : original text value of the cell,
    • value: parsed value of the cell,
  • min : smallest value in the range,
  • max : largets value in the range,
  • sort : sort order ("high-to-low" or "low-to-high"),
  • color : the color calculated by the internal function,
  • options : the options object as specified by the user earlier if at all

To paint with a custom painter, you can use Harlequin.paint, passing the name of you painter as the first parameter, followed the by the other parameters you would pass to .stripe or .bar:


In essence, the .stripe method is just a call to the above method with the "stripe" painter name as the first parameter.

You can also apply multiple painters to each cell, by passing an array of painter names to the .paint method:



  • 0.6: Now supports striping of currencies and perctange values
  • 0.5: Now support by Zepto as well as jQuery
  • 0.4: Added ability to add custom painters
  • 0.3: Colspans now work with columns mode
  • 0.2: Added fallback to set hex value is HSL is not supported


Source hosted at GitHub. Report Issues/Feature requests on GitHub Issues.

Note on Patches/Pull Requests

  • Fork the project.
  • Make your feature addition or bug fix.
  • Add tests for it. This is important so I don't break it in a future version unintentionally.
  • Commit, do not mess with rakefile, version, or history. (if you want to have your own version, that is fine but bump version in a commit by itself I can ignore when I pull)
  • Send me a pull request. Bonus points for topic branches.


Copyright (c) 2012 Forward. See LICENSE for details.