Lightweight jQuery plugin to create sortable lists and grids using native HTML5 drag and drop API.
JavaScript HTML
Latest commit d943008 Dec 9, 2016 @lukasoppermann lukasoppermann committed on GitHub Merge pull request #218 from voidberg/revert-217-fix_placeholder_rest…

Revert "Fixed a placeholder bug, and a minor typo"

HTML5 Sortable library

Build Status Software License Coverage Status Git Release Bower NPM

Lightweight standalone library for creating sortable lists and grids using native HTML5 drag and drop API.


  • Less than 1KB (minified and gzipped).
  • Built using native HTML5 drag and drop API.
  • Supports both list and grid style layouts.
  • Supported Browsers: Current versions of all major browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera), IE10+
  • Supports exports as AMD, CommonJS or global
  • Comes with an AngularJS directive help wanted

Demo: Check out the examples


You need to install the package using bower, npm or downloading it manually. Afterwards you need to load dist/html.sortable.js or the minified version, dist/html.sortable.min.js. Make sure to grab the file from the dist/ directory.

Using Bower:

bower install html.sortable --save

Using NPM:

npm install html5sortable --save


You can find the examples online or test locally. Warning: the online demo is just to show off the features and is most likely not up to date. Please study this readme file for the current way of implementing and using html5sortable.

# To get the local examples to work do the following:
git clone
cd html5sortable
bower install

Build it / Hack it

1. Clone and install the project You will need npm, choose any way you like to install npm.

git clone
cd html5sortable
npm install && bower install

2. Send a PR If you send a pull request make sure it passes the tests & linting. Please see CONTRIBUTING for details.

npm test


Use sortable method to create a sortable list:



Use .sortable-placeholder CSS selectors to change the styles of the placeholder. You may change the class by setting the placeholderClass option in the config object.

sortable('.sortable', {
  placeholderClass: 'my-placeholder fade'


NOTE: Events can be listened on any element from the group (when using connectWith), since the same event will be dispatched on all of them.


Use sortstart event if you want to do something when sorting starts:

sortable('.sortable')[0].addEventListener('sortstart', function(e) {

    This event is triggered when the user starts sorting and the DOM position has not yet changed.

    e.detail.item contains the current dragged element
    e.detail.placeholder contains the placeholder element
    e.detail.startparent contains the element that the dragged item comes from



Use the sortstop event if you want to do something when sorting stops:

sortable('.sortable')[0].addEventListener('sortstop', function(e) {

    This event is triggered when the user stops sorting. The DOM position may have changed.

    e.detail.item contains the element that was dragged.
    e.detail.startparent contains the element that the dragged item came from.



Use sortupdate event if you want to do something when the order changes (e.g. storing the new order):

sortable('.sortable')[0].addEventListener('sortupdate', function(e) {

    This event is triggered when the user stopped sorting and the DOM position has changed.

    e.detail.item contains the current dragged element.
    e.detail.index contains the new index of the dragged element (considering only list items)
    e.detail.oldindex contains the old index of the dragged element (considering only list items)
    e.detail.elementIndex contains the new index of the dragged element (considering all items within sortable)
    e.detail.oldElementIndex contains the old index of the dragged element (considering all items within sortable)
    e.detail.startparent contains the element that the dragged item comes from
    e.detail.endparent contains the element that the dragged item was added to (new parent)




Use items option to specify which items inside the element should be sortable:

sortable('.sortable', {
    items: ':not(.disabled)'


Use handle option to restrict drag start to the specified element:

sortable('.sortable', {
    handle: 'h2'


Setting forcePlaceholderSize option to true, forces the placeholder to have a height:

sortable('.sortable', {
    forcePlaceholderSize: true


Use connectWith option to create connected lists:

sortable('.js-sortable, .js-second-sortable', {
    connectWith: 'connected' // unique string, which is not used for other connectWith sortables


Use placeholder option to specify the markup of the placeholder:

sortable('.sortable', {
  items: 'tr' ,
  placeholder: '<tr><td colspan="7">&nbsp;</td></tr>'


Use hoverClass option to specify applying a css class to the hovered element rather than relying on :hover. This can eliminate some potential drag and drop issues where another element thinks it is being hovered over.

sortable('.sortable', {
  hoverClass: 'is-hovered' // Defaults to false



To remove the sortable functionality completely:

sortable('.sortable', 'destroy');


To disable the sortable temporarily:

sortable('.sortable', 'disable');


To enable a disabled sortable:

sortable('.sortable', 'enable');


When you add a new item to a sortable, it will not automatically be a draggable item, so you will need to reinit the sortable. Your previously added options will be preserved.


Sorting table rows

The plugin has limited support for sorting table rows. To sort table rows:

  • Initialize plugin on tbody element
  • Keep in mind that different browsers may display different ghost image of the row during the drag action. Webkit browsers seem to hide entire contents of td cell if there are any inline elements inside the td. This may or may not be fixed by setting the td to be position: relative;

AngularJS usage

HELP WANTED: If you know angular and want to help get this package up to date and cleaned up, please contact me (lukasoppermann) or start submitting PRs.

Make your app use the htmlSortable module. Assign html sortable options to the html-sortable tag, specify an ng-model and, optionally, specify a callback using html-sortable-callback.

$scope.sortableOptions = {
  placeholder: '<div class="sortable-placeholder col-md-3"><div></div></div>',
    forcePlaceholderSize: true

$scope.sortableCallback = function (startModel, destModel, start, end) {
  // ...
<ul html-sortable="sortableOptions" html-sortable-callback="sortableCallback(startModel, destModel, start, end)" ng-model='data1'>
  <li ng-repeat="itm in data1">

See the examples for more information.

Authors & Contributors

This version is mantained by Alexandru Badiu & Lukas Oppermann.

Thanks to all contributors who contributed fixes and improvements.


Please see CONTRIBUTING for details.

Comment your code

Your code should be as self-documenting as possible, but because this is an open source project with multiple contributors please add comments whenever possible.

Docblocks for functions

Every function should have a docblock above stating what the function does and what parameters it is supposed to get.

* remove event handlers from sortable
* @param: {Element} sortable

Comment on individual lines

You do not need to comment on everything you do, but if you make a decision that could be confusion or something could be potentially seen as an error (e.g. because it is not the default way or not the most obvious way) please comment on why you did this. This prevents people from “fixing” stuff that is not broken and maybe breaking things because of this.

Add tests

Please add tests using mocha and jsdom, to verify & test your changes. Make sure to make your test fail first, so you are sure they work. Since tests are very important, your PR is going to be failed by coveralls, if you do not include tests.

If something is hard to test, you probably need to refactor it into multiple small functions. This is one of the good effects of testing, it improves your code quality.

Just add a new .js file to the test folder, or add a test to one of the files that already exist.


While the code does not pass the linking yet, we are working on it. Please ensure your code does pass our linting.

Take care to maintain the existing coding style. Lint and test your code using npm test.

Keep lines as short as possible (max. 80 characters)

Keeping your lines short makes it much more easy to spot errors and for other developers to scan the code.

Keeping to an 80 character limit makes you think more about how to code something and often forces you to refactor and simplify your code.

Lastly, less character per line, mean less potential merge conflicts.

Don’t use multiple var declaration (except for-loop)

var sortableElement = this, index, placeholder;

var sortableElement = this;
var index;
var placeholder;

While a little verbose, declaring one variable per line makes the code much more easy to scan. Additionally this helps when merging PRs.

Don’t use chaining

var foo = bar.filter(placeholders).map(baz);

var foo = bar.filter(placeholders);
foo =;

While this can be a nice feature it makes the code less maintainable, harder to read and harder to understand. Don’t use chaining.

Try to avoid else if and else

Try to refrain from using any else/else if statements and instead opt for simple if-statments with returns. This makes the code much easier to ready and refactor.

if( a === b){
  return …
} else {
  return …

// Could be refactor to
if( a === b){
  return …

Reduce parameters (max. 3)

Never use more than 3 parameters, this will keep you from falling into bad habits. If you need complex configuration (which you should try to avoid), use an object.

Reduce nesting depth (max. 3)

Do not nest too deeply. This will make the code confusing, hard to read, and again, makes merging hard. If your code gets too complex, try to refactor parts out into individual functions.


If you want to help us by working on any of the points below, please let me know and I add you and your branch to the list.

  • clean up & add comments (wip)
  • mocha tests (wip)
  • Refactor & break code into functions (wip)
  • Nesting via drag & drop
  • refactor to have gulp create
    • jQuery version
    • plain js version
  • use css framework for examples
  • make this compatible with
    • plain js
    • amd
    • commonjs