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Grid columns

Yii grid consists of a number of columns. Depending on column type and settings these are able to present data differently.

These are defined in the columns part of CGridView config like the following:

$this->widget('zii.widgets.grid.CGridView', array(
    'dataProvider'=>$dataProvider,
    'columns'=>array(
        // A simple column defined by the data contained in $dataProvider.
        // Data from model's column1 will be used.
        'column1',
        // More complex one.
        array(
            'class' => 'CDataColumn', // can be omitted, default
            'name'=>'column1',
            'value'=>function($data,$row){
                return $data->name;
            },
            'type'=>'raw',
        ),
    ),
));

Note: If columns part of config isn't specified, Yii tries to show all possible data provider model columns.

Column classes

There are several column classes bundled with Yii:

  • CButtonColumn.
  • CCheckBoxColumn.
  • CDataColumn.
  • CLinkColumn.

All these are extended from base CGridColumn that represents the specification for rendering the cells in a particular grid view column.

In a column, there is:

  • one header cell.
  • multiple data cells.
  • an optional footer cell.

Child classes may override renderHeaderCellContent, renderDataCellContent and renderFooterCellContent and renderFilterCellContent to customize how these cells are rendered.

Let's review what we already have out of the box.

CButtonColumn

This one represents a grid column that renders one or several buttons. By default it's used as simple as:

$this->widget('zii.widgets.grid.CGridView', array(
    'dataProvider'=>$dataProvider,
    'columns'=>array(
        // …
        array(
            'class' => 'CButtonColumn',
        ),
    ),
));

The code above will display three buttons, "view", "update" and "delete", which triggers the corresponding actions on the model of the row. By default actions for these are expected to be in the same controller as rendered the grid.

By configuring buttons and template properties, the column can display other buttons and customize the display order of the buttons.

CCheckBoxColumn

This one represents a grid view column of checkboxes. CCheckBoxColumn supports no selection (read-only), single selection and multiple selection. The mode is determined according to selectableRows. When in multiple selection mode, the header cell will display an additional checkbox, clicking on which will check or uncheck all of the checkboxes in the data cells.

Additionally selecting a checkbox can select a grid view row (depending on CGridView::selectableRows value) if selectableRows is null (default).

By default, the checkboxes rendered in data cells will have the values that are the same as the key values of the data model. One may change this by setting either name or value.

CDataColumn

Represents a grid view column that is associated with a data attribute or expression. This column class is used by default if no other class is specified:

$this->widget('zii.widgets.grid.CGridView', array(
    'dataProvider'=>$dataProvider,
    'columns'=>array(
        array(
            'name'=>'column1',
            'value'=>function($data,$row){
                return $data->name;
            },
            'type'=>'raw',
        ),
    ),
));

Either name or value should be specified. The former specifies a data attribute name, while the latter a PHP expression whose value should be rendered instead.

The value itself is a PHP expression or callback that will be evaluated for every data cell and whose result will be rendered as the content of the data cells. In this expression, the variable $row holds the row number (zero-based) and $data contains the data model for the row. $this corresponds to the column object itself.

$this->widget('zii.widgets.grid.CGridView', array(
    'dataProvider'=>$dataProvider,
    'columns'=>array(
        array(
            'name'=>'column1',
            'value'=>'$data->name',
        ),
    ),
));

In case of PHP 5.3 and newer you can use anonymous function instead of a string:

$this->widget('zii.widgets.grid.CGridView', array(
    'dataProvider'=>$dataProvider,
    'columns'=>array(
        array(
            'name'=>'column1',
            'value'=>function($data,$row){
                return $data->name;
            },
        ),
    ),
));

In order to get any outside variable into value anonymous function we can rely on PHP's use:

$greeting = "Hello, ";
$this->widget('zii.widgets.grid.CGridView', array(
    'dataProvider'=>$dataProvider,
    'columns'=>array(
        array(
            'name'=>'column1',
            'value'=>function($data,$row) use ($greeting){
                return $greeting.$data->name;
            },
        ),
    ),
));

The property sortable determines whether the grid view can be sorted according to this column. Note that the name should always be set if the column needs to be sortable. The name value will be used by CSort to render a clickable link in the header cell to trigger the sorting. You can specify value as well if you need to display some custom value for this column and still have it as sortable.

There are multiple formatting types this column class can use. In order to switch between these you can set type property to the one of the following:

  • raw — the attribute value will be rendered as is so it's especially useful in case of complex formatting. Be careful with this one and make sure output is properly escaped.
  • text (default) — the attribute value will be HTML-encoded.
  • ntext — formats the value as a HTML-encoded plain text and converts newlines with HTML <br/> tags.
  • html — the attribute value will be sanitized using HTMLPurifier. Note that it's not that good for performance so don't overuse it.
  • date — formats the value as a data using PHP's date and dateFormat property as format string. Default format is Y/m/d.
  • time — formats the value as a time using PHP's date and timeFormat property as format string. Default format is h:i:s A.
  • datetime — formats the value as a date and time using PHP's date and datetimeFormat property as format string. Default format is Y/m/d h:i:s A.
  • boolean — value is formatted as boolean. By default that means a simple Yes or No text. These could be overridden using booleanFormat property.
  • number — formats the value as a number using PHP number_format() function.
  • email — formats the value as a mailto link using CHtml::mailto.
  • image — formats the value as an image tag using CHtml::image.
  • url — formats the value as a hyperlink.

These are all methods of CFormatter or an application component with id formatter if you set one through application configuration. That means you can change formatting options for such formats as date or time application wide.

  • TODO: filter

CLinkColumn

Represents a grid view column that renders a hyperlink in each of its data cells.

The label and url properties determine how each hyperlink will be rendered. The labelExpression, urlExpression properties may be used instead if they are available. In addition, if imageUrl is set, an image link will be rendered.

Implementing our own column class

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