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Sort Lock Table

Sun, Oct 7, 2007 – 8:09 am

Easy-to-implement script creates tables that allow the body to scroll while the column headers remain fixed in place.

Scroll up and down or click on the column titles to sort the table. Easy to use. Tested to work in IE6 and Firefox

Demo Link

  1. 25 Responses to “Sort Lock Table”

  2. Hello,

    First thank you for this script, I have utilized it and it works great. However, I ran into a problem when I tried to create multiple tables with this in IE. I have 4 tables created with this, that are separated by a line break. Sometimes when the tables load, the header of a lower table would jump up underneath the header of a table above. It only happens in IE, and only about 80% of the time. I am not sure what could be wrong with it. Any help would be appreciated.

    By Dennis on Oct 22, 2007

  3. Hmm…. I’ve not encountered this before. Do you have a link to a page demonstrating the problem ?

    What version of IE were you using IE7 or IE6 ?

    Note: According to “TheCounter.Com” IE6 still provides about 50% of the browser market:


    By Stan Slaughter on Oct 22, 2007

  4. Hi Stan, thanks for answering my post. Unfortunately I do not have a link to the site. I can post an image of it however, and it is on IE7.
    The screenshot is at http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y62/kewldingo/tablebug.jpg

    As you can see, the Contact History header is scrolled under the Quote header. Each of the tables has a unique id, with the same class name. And they’re each in a div that’s separated by a line break (). I applied a simple fix by calling the click event on the first header when the table loads. I can see the headers jump from the bugged position to its right position on page load, but it does the trick for now.

    By Dennis on Oct 23, 2007

  5. Dang – wish I could see the source code. It almost looks like one of the tables does not have a TBODY tag, or is missing a /TBODY tag. Or maybe it’s missing the TableContainer DIV tag?

    Check to make sure both tables has all thier TABLE THEAD, TBODY, TR, and TD pairs. Also verify that they all have matching closing tags. In some browsers a missing /TR or /TABLE is inserted for you and on some it just messes up the table.

    Here’s an example with two tables. I just copy/pasted the top table and changed the columns. It works for me, hopefully it works for you as well:


    By Stan Slaughter on Oct 23, 2007

  6. Hello,

    I looked over the code, yet I cannot get the java script to read when I open the HTML source code on my machine (running IE 7 I believe). How come this doesn’t work?

    I am a complete programming dummy, who was thrust into this recently…

    Do I need to define the CSS and JS code? Or perhaps separate it from the HTML source? Any help would be much appreciated, as I have spent many hours trying to figure this out.

    By Brendan on Nov 9, 2007

  7. Just to follow up on my question…

    I see where I need to imbed GIF images and so forth.

    Perhaps I need to import my java script for table sorting. I know nothing about java coding, but did find a script on the web. Unfortunately, I cannot merge it with a fixed header, scrollable table. Here is what I have available online: http://www.wayland.ma.us/surveying/maps.html

    By Brendan on Nov 9, 2007

  8. Where can i find the sortTable.js file?

    By cowarish on Nov 13, 2007

  9. “Where can i find the sortTable.js file?”

    If you visit the Demo Link and view source it will give you the name, but here is the direct link:



    When I have the time I’ll do a better write up on the Sort table and all it’s parts. I was getting so many requests about it though I just wanted to make sure it was out there for people to grab.

    Now – to just find the time :)

    By Stan Slaughter on Nov 14, 2007

  10. Your Sort Lock Table doesn’t work with firefox 3
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    Laura Martinez
    to Stan_Slaughter

    show details 11:00 AM (1 minute ago)



    I\’m looking for a sort table, but I\’ve got firefox 3 and your sort table demo doesn\’t work with firefox3.

    Are you going to review your sample? I\’m very interesting on it.

    Thank you in advance



    By Laura on Jul 1, 2008

  11. Laura,

    I’ve not had a lot of time this morning to look into this, but I think that all you need do is to add


    To the div.TableContainer class. So it looks like this:

    div.TableContainer {
    border:1px solid #7DA87D;

    Let me know if this works for you. I’ll also try to look into this more deeply tonight when I get home.

    By Stan Slaughter on Jul 1, 2008

  12. Thank you Stan.

    That’s it, It workssss

    Thank you very much

    By Laura on Jul 2, 2008

  13. Thank you very much

    It workssssssssssss


    By Laura on Jul 2, 2008

  14. Using the sorting script, works a treat. However I have some data of the following format.
    For example:-
    (3c, 4a, 5b, 4b, w, 5c,4c) that needs to be sorted by number then by letter
    E.g. (w, 3c, 4c, 4b, 4a,5c)

    Where w is the lowest value then 1c, 1b, 1a, 2c,2b,2a,3c,3b,3a etc up to 5a being the highest.

    This will not sort- I did think maybe converting the letters to numbers and then sorting numerically so w=0 c=1 b=2 a=3 but could not see how to do it?

    Any ideas?

    By Martin on Jul 3, 2008

  15. Martin,

    The problem you are having is that letters without numbers are single characters. Try placing a space or 0 in front of them and it should sort properly.

    By Stan Slaughter on Jul 5, 2008

  16. It sort of works. All sorted well by number then by letter. Unfortunately it is not the order I need.

    This is what it does(using example data)- 2a,2c,4a,4b,4c,4c or reversed 4c,4c,4b,4a,2c,2a

    What I actually need is the following

    2c,2a,4c,4c,4b,4a or reversed 4a,4b,4c,4c,2a,2c

    I need to keep the number order but reverse the letter ordering for these columns.

    By Martin on Jul 6, 2008

  17. Finally got it to work how I wanted.
    I added this code to the function for modifying the values.

    // If the item matches a mixed Letter/numeric pattern (e.g. 2a, 3c)
    if (itm.match(/([1-5][abc]$)/) ||
    itm.match(/([W]$)/)) {
    // Replace letters or spaces with a number for sorting.
    if (itm.match(/([W]$)/)){sortValue = itm.replace(/([W])/g,1);}
    else if (itm.match(/(\d[a]$)/)){sortValue = itm.replace(/([a])/g,4);}
    else if (itm.match(/(\d[b]$)/)){sortValue = itm.replace(/([b])/g,3);}
    else if (itm.match(/(\d$)/)){sortValue = itm.replace(/()/g,2);}
    else if (itm.match(/()/)){sortValue = itm.replace(/()/g,-1);}
    else {sortValue = sortValue;}

    if (isNaN(sortValue)) {
    // sortValue = sortValue.replace(/,/g,”);
    sortValue = 0;
    } else {
    sortValue = parseFloat(sortValue);

    It now seems to do exactly what I want without messing up the other sorting.

    By Martin on Jul 13, 2008

  18. Interesting Martin. So you essentially added a a new type of item to the FormatForType function in sortTable.js

    One that would understand the unique content you wanted sorted in that column.

    Nice solution to your problem. I’m glad you got it to work for you.

    By Stan Slaughter on Jul 16, 2008

  19. dear stan
    thanks for the script – it’s genius and something i could never have come up with myself.

    i have implemented your script at http://www.passporttorichmond.co.uk/pubs/events.html
    and i have one problem.

    what changes do i have to make to sorttable.js so that empty cells in my table are always sorted as the last rows when a column heading is clicked.

    many thanks

    By gordon on Sep 17, 2008

  20. I’m glad you find it useful. :)

    That reminds me – I really do need to take the time and do a much more detailed write up on it.

    It’s jammed full of interesting DOM techniques and tricks that really deserve to be pointed out and explained some where other than just inside the code itself.

    By Stan Slaughter on Sep 18, 2008

  21. Stan,

    I just stumbled across your great script and almost have it working the way I’d like. One thing I’m having trouble with is your demo table having entries in the name column that begin with numbers. I’d like a column for book titles but when I replace a name with a title that begins with a number, the column sorts incorrectly.

    Thanks in advance for any help…

    By chris on Nov 25, 2008

  22. Stan – what great code. It’s very clean and elegant. I have used it for a few tables so far, and the users love it. However if there is a tag in the title, FF does not display properly. It causes FF to hide the scrollbar for the table but adds a scrollbar to the right side and to the bottom of the table but scrolls the required scrollbar for the table off screen to the right. If you scroll to the right, you can see and use the scrollbar for the table.

    To replicate this problem, add a ‘’ tag after ‘NAME’.

    Any suggestions? I can set this up on an external web site if needed.

    By Frank on Feb 15, 2010

  23. Stan,

    A small problem,

    When I scroll,a small portion of the rows that moves upwards is visible from betwwwn the container border and the header top.Pls help

    By choi on Feb 25, 2010

  24. I know this is an old thread, but being not a js programmer and loving your sortTables, I have a ?. Is there possibly a way to have 2 tr in the thead section that are left alone. The table has a 1st tr that is a multi column grouping and the 2nd tr is the actual column labels with the onclick sort. I have tried doing originalCol.shift(); twice to try to move down in the array, but to no avail. The 2 trs stay in place and sorts correctly, but the sort image disappears, the alternating tr colors are no longer altered and no highlight of sorted column. Sorted column highlight is no biggie really, but would like to retain alternateRow and sort img.
    Thanks for devoting time to these kind of scripts for we who are less talented.

    By Eddie Dodwell on Mar 9, 2010

  25. Hi There,

    How are you doing..I’m looking for some example for locked sorting. Above piece of code suits for requirement, however it’s not working in Safari browse. My observation in safari is header is scrolling up. Appreciate your valuable inputs to fix this issue.

    Thanks in advance..


    By Ravi on Mar 17, 2010

  26. Can you please try this, i have requirement where the first 3 columns in a table should be freezed during horizontall scroll. I tried a lot but coudn’t acheive this. Can you please help with this?

    By Arun on Apr 6, 2010

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