sotable

Make any HTML table sortable

See it in action #

Visit the codepen.

Usage #

Download sotable-min.js from GitHub and put that file into the <head>section of your HTML page.

HTML to embed sotable-min.js into a web page:
<script src="sotable-min.js"></script>
<script>
addEventListener('load', () => sotable()); //activate sotable functionalty on load
</script>

To experiment and dive deeper, it´s best to clone the entire repository and investigate the index.html, which serves as an example. Sotable is also available as an npm package.

Install the sotable npm package:
npm i sotable
Use the sotable npm package:
const sotable = require('sotable');
sotable.run();

Function #

sotable will query all tables on a web page and turn each table with <th> elements in the first table row into a sortable table. An explanation of the sort behavior will be added to the table <caption>. If the table doesn´t have a caption, it will be created.

Settings #

sotable can run without any configuration, like in the example above. Nevertheless sotable can be called with a settings object.

Calling sotable with a settings object:
<script src="sotable-min.js"></script>
<script>
//call sotable with a settings object
//the shown values are the default values
addEventListener('load', () => sotable({
indicatorAsc: 'ᐃ',
indicatorDsc: 'ᐁ',
sortHint: 'Sort the table by clicking on a column heading.',
restoreHint: 'Restore the original order by clicking <button>Restore Order</button>.',
whiteList: '',
blackList: ''
})); //activate sotable functionalty on load
</script>

Explanation of the settings:

  • indicatorAsc: A symbol to indicate that a table column is sorted in ascending order.
  • indicatorDsc: A symbol to indicate that a table column is sorted in descending order.
  • sortHint: The text to add to the table caption to inform the user how to sort the table.
  • restoreHint: The text to add to the table caption to inform the user how to revert sorting to the initial state. The <button> element will be injected with functionality to revert the sorting.
  • whiteList: A selector pattern[1], separated by comma, to select only those tables for sorting that fall into the whitelist query. The selector .soso is available, even without adding it to the whiteList.
  • blackList: A selector pattern, separated by comma, to not select those tables for sorting that fall into the whitelist query. blackList has higher priority than whiteList. The selector .noso is available, even without adding it to the blackList.

Accessibility #

Many design decisions for proper accessibility of sotable stem from Sortable table columns by Adrian Roselli. Among those are

  • Use the table caption to indicate the table is sortable.
  • Use aria-sort to indicate what column is sorted into what direction.
  • Use buttons (and not links) inside of the <th> elements to activate sorting[2].

References #

  1. JavaScript Sort HTML Table
  2. Sortable table columns, by Adrian Roselli.

  1. Locating DOM elements using selectors ↩︎

  2. Generally, use buttons for performing an action on the site and use links for sending the user somewhere. Source: Six ways to make your site more accessible ↩︎