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January 21, 2019 11:06
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sortable - a tiny, vanilla JS table sorter

Makes any table with class="sortable", er, sortable. That is the user can click on a table header and change the sorting of the table rows.

Just include the JavaScript and it will work. No function calls needed, all is done with an eventListener. (the CSS is not strictly needed, but makes it ~pretty and user friendly)

Factoids

  • 954 bytes minified. (545 bytes gzipped) Still under 1k! 🥳

  • Works with JavaScript generated tables. (since we are using an eventListener)

  • Lightning fast. Huge tables will make it slow and may freeze the browser, especially for mobiles, so you know...

  • Requires thead and tbody.

  • cross browser, ie9+ (I think, there have been a whole bunch of changes since I last tested it on ie9 🤷)

  • eventListeners attached to the rows WILL be removed

  • eventListeners are no longer removed! 😊

  • NOT tested with React, Angular, Vue, etc.

  • Works with Svelte!

...with a little help from my friends

Demo

You can find a simple demo on https://tofsjonas.github.io/sortable/

A basic example

<table class="sortable">
  <thead>
    <tr>
      <th><span>Role</span></th>
      <th>Name</th>
    </tr>
  </thead>
  <tbody>
    <tr>
      <td>Genius</td>
      <td>Rick</td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <td><a href="javascript:alert('Inline javascript works!');">Sidekick</a></td>
      <td>Morty</td>
    </tr>
  </tbody>
</table>
<link href="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/gh/tofsjonas/sortable/sortable.min.css" rel="stylesheet" />
<script src="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/gh/tofsjonas/sortable/sortable.min.js"></script>

(The span is just there to prove that elements inside th works)

Non-sortable field

...using class and css

If you wish to disable sorting for a specific field, the easiest way is to add a class to it, like so:

<tr>
  <th class="no-sort">Role</th>
  <th>Name</th>
</tr>

and then use css to block clicks. like so:

.sortable th.no-sort {
  pointer-events: none;
}

...using css only

This is a bit trickier, but it doesn't require any changes to the html, so I guess it could be worth it in some cases.

/* the first column in every sortable table should not be sortable*/
.sortable th:nth-child(1) {
  pointer-events: none;
}

/* the seventh column in the second .sortable table should not be sortable*/
.sortable:nth-of-type(2) th:nth-child(7) {
  pointer-events: none;
}

Indicators/arrows on the left side

If you have text that is aligned on the right side, you may want to have the arrows on the left side.

This is solved by adding a class to the css and using ::before instead of ::after.

(You can of course use a pure css solution, without class names - just like with the non-sortable field - but that I will leave for you to figure out.)

.sortable th.indicator-left::after {
  content: '';
}
.sortable th.indicator-left::before {
  margin-right: 3px;
  content: '▸';
}
/* etc. */

Full example: CSS, SCSS

Note about css/scss

The css/scss in this repo was only ever meant as an example. It was never intended to be actually used.

That said, if you're feeling lazy, here are two stylesheets you can use:

<!-- This will add arrows only -->
<link href="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/gh/tofsjonas/sortable/sortable-base.min.css" rel="stylesheet" />

<!-- This will make it look like the tables in the example, with arrows, striped rows etc. -->
<link href="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/gh/tofsjonas/sortable/sortable.min.css" rel="stylesheet" />

Sort on value other than the one shown

Using the data-sort attribute in tbody > td you can have one visible value and one sortable value. This is useful in case you have for instance sizes like kb, Mb, GB, etc.

<table class="sortable">
  <thead>
    <tr>
      <th>Movie Name</th>
      <th>Size</th>
      <th>Release date</th>
    </tr>
  </thead>
  <tbody>
    <tr>
      <td>Zack Snyder's Justice League</td>
      <td data-sort="943718400">900MB</td>
      <td data-sort="20210318">03/18/2021</td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <td>The Sound of Music</td>
      <td data-sort="1610612736">1.5GB</td>
      <td data-sort="19651209">12/09/1965</td>
    </tr>
  </tbody>
</table>

Alternative sorting

If you click on a table header while holding shift or alt an alternative data-sort-alt attribute will override data-sort.

<table class="sortable">
  <thead>
    <tr>
      <th>Movie Name</th>
      <th>Size</th>
      <th>Release date</th>
    </tr>
  </thead>
  <tbody>
    <tr>
      <td>Something</td>
      <td data-sort-alt="c" data-sort="a">A</td>
      <td data-sort-alt="b" data-sort="c">B</td>
      <td data-sort-alt="a" data-sort="b">C</td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <td>Something else</td>
      <td data-sort-alt="e" data-sort="f">D</td>
      <td data-sort-alt="f" data-sort="e">E</td>
      <td data-sort-alt="d" data-sort="d">F</td>
    </tr>
  </tbody>
</table>

Specify which column should be sorted

Using the data-sort-col attribute in thead > th, you can sort on a different column than the one that was clicked. For instance if you want to have colspans. Like so:

<thead>
  <tr>
    <th></th>
    <th>Category</th>
    <th class="show_name">Show</th>
    <th colspan="2">Overall</th>
    <th colspan="2" data-sort-col="5">On Our Dates</th>
    <th data-sort-col="7">First Sold Out</th>
  </tr>
</thead>
<tbody>
  <tr>
    <td class="tags">&nbsp;</td>
    <td class="category">Comedy</td>
    <td class="show_name">Show 1</td>
    <td class="ratio all" data-sort="72">18/25</td>
    <td class="pct all">72%</td>
    <td class="ratio ours" data-sort="75">3/4</td>
    <td class="pct ours">75%</td>
    <td>2022-07-30</td>
  </tr>
  ...
</tbody>

Ascending sort

By adding asc to table, the default sorting direction will be ascending instead of descending

<table class="sortable asc">
  <thead>
    ...
  </thead>
  <tbody>
    ...
  </tbody>
</table>

Sort on load

If you wish to sort a table on load, I would recommend doing something like this:

<table class="sortable">
  <thead>
    <tr>
      <th>Movie Name</th>
      <th id="movie-size">Size</th>
      <th>Release date</th>
    </tr>
  </thead>
  <tbody>
    ...
  </tbody>
</table>

<script>
  window.addEventListener('load', function () {
    const el = document.getElementById('movie-size')
    // without id:
    // const el = document.querySelector('.sortable th:first-child')
    // const el = document.querySelector('.sortable th:nth-child(2)')
    // const el = document.querySelectorAll('.sortable')[3].querySelector('th:nth-child(7)')
    // etc.
    if (el) {
      el.click()
    }
  })
</script>

Combine this with <table class="sortable asc"> to reverse the sort order. Or do el.click() twice!

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