Author: Christian Bach
Version: 2.0.5 (changelog)
Licence: Dual licensed under MIT or GPL licenses.

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  1. Introduction
  2. Demo
  3. Getting started
  4. Examples
  5. Configuration
  6. Download
  7. Compatibility
  8. Support
  9. Credits


tablesorter is a jQuery plugin for turning a standard HTML table with THEAD and TBODY tags into a sortable table without page refreshes. tablesorter can successfully parse and sort many types of data including linked data in a cell. It has many useful features including:


First Name Last Name Age Total Discount Difference Date
Peter Parker 28 $9.99 20.9% +12.1 Jul 6, 2006 8:14 AM
John Hood 33 $19.99 25% +12 Dec 10, 2002 5:14 AM
Clark Kent 18 $15.89 44% -26 Jan 12, 2003 11:14 AM
Bruce Almighty 45 $153.19 44.7% +77 Jan 18, 2001 9:12 AM
Bruce Evans 22 $13.19 11% -100.9 Jan 18, 2007 9:12 AM
Bruce Evans 22 $13.19 11% 0 Jan 18, 2007 9:12 AM

TIP! Sort multiple columns simultaneously by holding down the shift key and clicking a second, third or even fourth column header!

Getting started

To use the tablesorter plugin, include the jQuery library and the tablesorter plugin inside the <head> tag of your HTML document:

<script type="text/javascript" src="/path/to/jquery-latest.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript" src="/path/to/jquery.tablesorter.js"></script>

tablesorter works on standard HTML tables. You must include THEAD and TBODY tags:

<table id="myTable" class="tablesorter">
	<th>Last Name</th>
	<th>First Name</th>
	<th>Web Site</th>

Start by telling tablesorter to sort your table when the document is loaded:


Click on the headers and you'll see that your table is now sortable! You can also pass in configuration options when you initialize the table. This tells tablesorter to sort on the first and second column in ascending order.

		$("#myTable").tablesorter( {sortList: [[0,0], [1,0]]} );

NOTE! tablesorter will auto-detect most data types including numbers, dates, ip-adresses for more information see Examples


These examples will show what's possible with tablesorter. You need Javascript enabled to run these samples, just like you and your users will need Javascript enabled to use tablesorter.

Basic Metadata - setting inline options Advanced Companion plugins


tablesorter has many options you can pass in at initialization to achieve different effects:

Property Type Default Description Link
sortList Array null An array of instructions for per-column sorting and direction in the format: [[columnIndex, sortDirection], ... ] where columnIndex is a zero-based index for your columns left-to-right and sortDirection is 0 for Ascending and 1 for Descending. A valid argument that sorts ascending first by column 1 and then column 2 looks like: [[0,0],[1,0]] Example
sortMultiSortKey String shiftKey The key used to select more than one column for multi-column sorting. Defaults to the shift key. Other options might be ctrlKey, altKey.
textExtraction String Or Function simple Defines which method is used to extract data from a table cell for sorting. Built-in options include "simple" and "complex". Use complex if you have data marked up inside of a table cell like: <td><strong><em>123 Main Street</em></strong></td>. Complex can be slow in large tables so consider writing your own text extraction function "myTextExtraction" which you define like:
var myTextExtraction = function(node) 
	// extract data from markup and return it 
	return node.childNodes[0].childNodes[0].innerHTML;
		$("#myTable").tableSorter( {textExtraction: myTextExtraction} );
tablesorter will pass a jQuery object containing the contents of the current cell for you to parse and return. Thanks to Josh Nathanson for the examples.
headers Object null An object of instructions for per-column controls in the format: headers: { 0: { option: setting }, ... } For example, to disable sorting on the first two columns of a table: headers: { 0: { sorter: false}, 1: {sorter: false} } Example
sortForce Array null Use to add an additional forced sort that will be appended to the dynamic selections by the user. For example, can be used to sort people alphabetically after some other user-selected sort that results in rows with the same value like dates or money due. It can help prevent data from appearing as though it has a random secondary sort. Example
widthFixed Boolean false Indicates if tablesorter should apply fixed widths to the table columns. This is useful for the Pager companion. Requires the jQuery dimension plugin to work. Example
cancelSelection Boolean true Indicates if tablesorter should disable selection of text in the table header (TH). Makes header behave more like a button.
cssHeader String "header" The CSS style used to style the header in its unsorted state. Example from the blue skin:
th.header {
	background-image: url(../img/small.gif);	
	cursor: pointer;
	font-weight: bold;
	background-repeat: no-repeat;
	background-position: center left;
	padding-left: 20px;
	border-right: 1px solid #dad9c7;
	margin-left: -1px;
cssAsc String "headerSortUp" The CSS style used to style the header when sorting ascending. Example from the blue skin:
th.headerSortUp {
	background-image: url(../img/small_asc.gif);
	background-color: #3399FF;
cssDesc String "headerSortDown" The CSS style used to style the header when sorting descending. Example from the blue skin:
th.headerSortDown {
	background-image: url(../img/small_desc.gif);
	background-color: #3399FF;
debug Boolean false Boolean flag indicating if tablesorter should display debuging information usefull for development. Example


Full release - Plugin, Documentation, Add-ons, Themes

Pick n choose - Place at least the required files in a directory on your webserver that is accessible to a web browser. Record this location.

Required: Optional/Add-Ons: Widgets: Themes:

Browser Compatibility

tablesorter has been tested successfully in the following browsers with Javascript enabled:

jQuery Browser Compatibility


Support is available through the jQuery Mailing List.

Access to the jQuery Mailing List is also available through Nabble Forums.


Written by Christian Bach.

Documentation written by Brian Ghidinelli, based on Mike Alsup's great documention.

John Resig for the fantastic jQuery