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Angular Data Grid: Row Sorting

This page describes how to get your grid data sorting. Row sorting works with all frameworks (e.g. Angular and React) as well as plain JavaScript.

Enable Sorting

Enable sorting for columns by setting the sortable column definition attribute. You can then sort a column by clicking on the column header.

    /* other grid options ... */>

// enable sorting on 'name' and 'age' columns only
this.columnDefs = [
    { field: 'name', sortable: true },
    { field: 'age', sortable: true },
    { field: 'address' },

To enable sorting for all columns, set sorting in the default column definition.

    /* other grid options ... */>

// enable sorting on all columns by default
this.defaultColDef = {
    sortable: true
this.columnDefs = [
    { field: 'name' },
    { field: 'age' },
    // suppress sorting on address column
    { field: 'address', sortable: false },

Custom Sorting

Custom sorting is provided at a column level by configuring a comparator on the column definition.

    /* other grid options ... */>

this.columnDefs = [
        field: 'age',
        // simple number comparator
        comparator: (valueA, valueB, nodeA, nodeB, isInverted) => valueA - valueB
        field: 'name',
        // simple string comparator
        comparator: (valueA, valueB, nodeA, nodeB, isInverted) => {
            if (valueA == valueB) return 0;
            return (valueA > valueB) ? 1 : -1;

The parameters are as follows:

  • valueA, valueB: The values in the cells to be compared. Typically sorts are done on these values only.
  • nodeA, nodeB: The Row Nodes for the rows getting sorted. These can be used if more information, such as data from other columns, are needed for the comparison.
  • isInverted: true for Ascending, false for Descending.

Example: Custom Sorting

Example below shows the following:

  • Default sorting on the Athlete column.
  • When the Year column is not sorted, it shows a custom icon (up/down arrow).
  • The Date column has strings as the row data, but has a custom comparator so that when you sort this column it sorts as dates, not as strings.

Example: Custom Sorting Groups

When Row Grouping it is possible to override the sort order of the Row Group columns. If using the Auto Group Column, provide a comparator via the autoGroupColumnDef grid property.

    /* other grid options ... */>

this.autoGroupColumnDef = {
    field: 'athlete',
    comparator: function(valueA, valueB, nodeA, nodeB, isInverted) {
        return (valueA == valueB) ? 0 : (valueA > valueB) ? 1 : -1;

Multi Column Sorting

It is possible to sort by multiple columns. The default action for multiple column sorting is for the user to hold down Shift while clicking the column header. To change the default action to use the Ctrl key (or Command key on Apple) instead set the property multiSortKey='ctrl'.

The example below demonstrates the following:

  • The grid sorts by Country then Athlete by default.
  • The property multiSortKey='ctrl' is set so multiple column sorting is achieved by holding down Ctrl and selecting multiple columns.

Sorting Animation

To enable animation of the rows after sorting, set grid property animateRows=true.

Sorting Order

By default, the sorting order is as follows:

ascending -> descending -> none.

In other words, when you click a column that is not sorted, it will sort ascending. The next click will make it sort descending. Another click will remove the sort.

It is possible to override this behaviour by providing your own sortingOrder on either the gridOptions or the colDef. If defined both in colDef and gridOptions, the colDef will get preference, allowing you to define a common default, and then tailor per column.

Example: Sorting Order and Animation

The example below shows animation of the rows plus different combinations of sorting orders as follows:

  • Grid Default: ascending -> descending -> no sort
  • Column Athlete: ascending -> descending
  • Column Age: descending -> ascending
  • Column Country: descending -> no sort
  • Column Year: ascending only

Sorting API

What sorting is applied is controlled via Column State. The below examples uses the Column State API to control column sorting.

Accented Sort

By default sorting doesn't take into consideration locale-specific characters. If you need to make your sort locale-specific you can configure this by setting the grid option accentedSort = true.

Using this feature is more expensive; if you need to sort a very large amount of data, you might find that this causes the sort to be noticeably slower.

The following example is configured to use this feature.


It is also possible to perform some post-sorting if you require additional control over the sorted rows.

This is provided via the postSort grid callback function as shown below:

    /* other grid options ... */>

this.postSort = rowNodes => {
    // here we put Ireland rows on top while preserving the sort order
    let nextInsertPos = 0;
    for (let i = 0; i < rowNodes.length; i++) {
        const country = rowNodes[i];
        if (country === 'Ireland') {
            rowNodes.splice(nextInsertPos, 0, rowNodes.splice(i, 1)[0]);

The following example uses this configuration to perform a post-sort on the rows. The custom function puts rows with Ireland at the top always.