Configuring Columns

With the help of the columns parameter you can:

Automatic Column Configuration

Datatable can configure its columns based on the data. This is extremely useful for prototyping and creating simple tables. For automatic configuration, enable the autoConfig property. The columns property is not needed in this case.

        { id:"1", title:"Rage against the Machine", stars:5, $css:"top" },
        { id:"2", title:"Chalices and Blades", stars:3 },
        { id:"3", title:"Look back in Anger", stars:4 },
        { id:"4", title:"Look Homeward, Angel", stars:5, $css:"top" }

Datatable will analyze the data passed to it and build columns automatically. The columns will have default settings:

  • sort:"string" (columns that begin with $- are not included; these columns are helper fields, e.g. $css, $count);
  • editor:"text" (works only if editable:true in the datatable configuration);
  • fillspace:true for the first column, width:100 for the rest;
  • select:"row" (unless other setting is passed in the datatable configuration)


The header and footer are enabled by the parameters header and footer, correspondingly (by default, headers are enabled).

The values of header and footer can be defined as a string, object or an array of strings and objects.

1. into a string, you can put into the text, images, HTML inputs, and links. Read more.

2. an object allows you to set more complex headers and footers. The object can have the following properties:

  • text - the text label of a column;
  • colspan - the number of columns a cell should span;
  • rowspan - the number of rows a cell should span;
  • content - the built-in filter or a counter for values in a column (textFilter, selectFilter or any other from the list of filters). Read more;
  • tooltip - the tooltip for cells of the column, read more;
  • height - defines a custom height for a header line;
  • css - the name of a CSS class that will be applied to the column header.

3. an array allows you to define multiline headers.

Defining header and footer for a specific column

// a simple string
        { id:"col1", header:"Column 1", footer:"Footer 1" }
// an array
                { text:"Column1", colspan:"2"},
                { content:"selectFilter" }
                { text:"Total", rowspan:"2"},
                { text:" " }

Related sample:  Standard Header (Footer) Implementation

For more details, read the Headers and Footers article and Webix Tutorials.

Width of Columns

Dynamic Width

To make a column or several columns fill the unused space of the parent container, set fillspace:true:

   { id:"title", header:"Film title", fillspace:true },
    //    ...

The column will take all the free space of the datatable container. If there is more than one column with the enabled fillspace attribute, they will equally divide the space.

Related sample:  Adjusting Columns to the Parent Container

Proportional Width

If you want columns to divide the width of the datatable proportionally, set fillspace as a number:

// 75% : 25% of the available width
   { id:"title", header:"Film title", fillspace:3 },
   { id:"year", header:"Released in", fillspace:1 },
   // ...

Related sample:  Adjusting Columns to the Parent Container

Fixed Width

You can set the fixed width of all the Datatable columns. Use the columnWidth property in the DataTable configuration.

{ view:"datatable", columnWidth:200, columns:[ ] }

To set a fixed width for a specific column, use the width attribute:

Setting the width of a column

    { id:"col1", width:200 }

Related sample:  Sizing through the 'Width', 'Height' Parameters

Adjusting column width to its content

To adjust the width of a column to the content size, you can use the adjust attribute. There are three possible options:

  • data - the width of the cell with the widest content;
  • header - the width of the header text;
  • true - a combination of both: it will adjust the column to the widest data or a header cell.
    columns: [
        { id: "title", header: "Film", adjust: "data" },
        { id: "year", header: "Released in", adjust: "header" },
        { id: "notes", header: "Reviews", adjust: true }

If you have huge data, you can limit the number of rows, based on which the width of columns is calculated with adjust. Set the adjustBatch attribute:

                {id:"title", adjust:"data", adjustBatch:50},
                {id:"title", adjust:true}
            //data count is big

Related sample:  Adjusting Columns to the Content

Good Practice for Dynamic Sizing

It is good practice to combine changeable sizing options (fillspace and adjust) with minWidth to ensure correct sizing.

For more details, read the Sizing and resizing article and test your knowledge in Webix tutorials.

Built-in Filters

You can add a filter to a header or a footer. See the full list of available filters.

A filter is set by the content property:

Adding filter to the header of a specific column

            { text:"Column 1", colspan:"2"},
            { content:"selectFilter" }
    {/* ... */}

Related sample:  Filtering. Using Built-in Means

For more details, read the Filtering article and Webix Tutorials.

Built-in Sorting

You can enable sorting for columns. The sorting is specified by the sort attribute. The way of sorting depends on the data type. There are several predefined sorting types:

  • "int"
  • "date"
  • "string"
  • "string_strict" (case-sensitive string sorting)
  • "text"
  • "server"
  • "raw"

Activating sorting for a specific column

    { id:"col1", sort:"string" },
    {/* ... */}

Related sample:  Sorting. Using Built-in Means

You can also set a custom sorting type.

For more details, read the Sorting article and Webix Tutorials.

Text Alignment

To set the text alignment in a column, use the css attribute:

Setting the text alignment in a column

    { id:"col1" css:"myStyle"}, //a css class
    { id:"col2", css:{'text-align':'right'} //styles directly in the attribute

Read more about using the css attribute in the Styling article and in Webix Tutorials.

Data Formats

You can format dates and numbers with the format attribute:

Setting the format for a specific column

    // data will be formatted according to the current locale
        id:"col2", format:function(value){
            return webix.i18n.numberFormat(value);

Related sample:  Using Date Templates

Formatting does not affect the actual data. It's a purely visual feature.

For more details, read the Number and Date formatting article and Webix Tutorials.

Math in Columns

You can write simple math formulas in column cells. Formulas can be set for a whole column or for a single cell.

Using formulas for setting values in the whole column

    { id:"col1", math:"[row_id,col_name] + [row_id,col_name]" }

Related sample:  Using Cell References in Formulas

For more details, read the Using Formulas article and Webix Tutorials.

External Data Source for the Column

By default, values in columns are put into cells as they are in data (data key = column ID). Columns also can store sets of options, associated with real values by IDs.

These options are called a column collection and can be used for:

  • displaying meaningful values in cells (replacing IDs),
  • a list of options for a selection editor in a cell,
  • a list of options for a selection filter.

Filtering, sorting, and editing will still be performed on the real data (IDs), but the user should see readable text instead. That's why we recommend setting selection filters and editors for columns like this and sort them as sort: "text".

Adding Column Collections

You can provide data for the column from any source using the collection or options properties of the column. Column data can be taken from:

  • DataCollection
  • any data component (the source component must be initialized first)
  • URL with the path to the data file
  • array with id-value objects [{ id:1, value:"one"}, ...]
  • array with values ["one", "two"]
  • object { 1: "one", 2: "two"}
  • function / proxy
        //ID of datatable
        { id:"product", header:"Product", options:"dash-pro" },
        //path to a script
        { id:"quantity", header:"Quantity", options:"data/goods/" },
        //array of objects
        { id:"price", header:"Unit price", options:[
            { id:"1", value:100 },
            { id:"2", value:200 }
        ] }
    url:"data/orderproducts/", //main data source

Regardless of the way you define options/collection, the column data will be stored in a datacollection and can be accessed via the column configuration, e.g. within a data template:

        { id:"price", header:"Unit price", options:[
            { id:"1", price:100 },
            { id:"2", price:200 }
        template:function(obj, common, val, config){
            //config is column config
            return config.collection.getItem(obj.price).price;
        } }
    url:"data/orderproducts/", //main data source

Related sample:  Datatable: Option collections for columns, filters and editors

You can get to a specific collection via the getColumnConfig() method of DataTable:

var collection = $$("table").getColumnConfig("titleId").collection;

DataCollections and Relational Databases

You can display connected tables from relational database in one datatable with the help of the collection property. To unite related tables and display the resulting data in a DataTable, use several DataCollections for each table and set up the DataTable columns to display values from the corresponding collections.

1. Sync the datatable with either of the collections:


2. Specify the other collections as data sources for the corresponding columns:

    view:"datatable", id:"orders_grid",
        { id:"date", header:"Order Date" },
        { id:"employee", header:"Employee", collection:employee },
        // other columns

Read more in Webix Tutorials.


By default, raw field values are displayed in cells. If you need to change it, use data templates.

Using templates for configuration data of a column

        id:"col4", template:function(obj){
            return obj.col1 + obj.col2*2 + obj.col3*3;

Related sample:  Using String Templates

For more details, read the Data Templates article and Webix Templates.


You can change the look and feel of every column. Column style can be set in a CSS class and applied through the css attribute.

Applying a CSS class to a specific column

    { id:"col1", css:"someStyle" }

For more details, read the Styling article and in Webix Tutorials.

Hiding/Showing Columns

Initially, all the datatable columns are visible by default, unless the hidden property is true for a column:

var grid = webix.ui({
        //this column is hidden initially
        { id:"col1", header:"Title", hidden:true},
        //this column is visible
        { id:"col2", header:"Rating"}

Through the hideColumn() and showColumn() methods you can manipulate visibility of columns dynamically.

Hiding a column


Adding/Deleting Columns Dynamically

You can add columns and remove columns at runtime directly from its columns array.

Don't forget to repaint the Datatable afterwards using the refreshColumns method.

Replacing current columns with new ones

// redefine columns
$$("grid").config.columns = [/* collection of columns.. */];
// or insert to the beginning
$$("grid").columns.splice(0, 0, { id:"year", header:"Release" });
// or remove the 2nd column
$$("grid").columns.splice(1, 1);
// or replace the 3rd column
$$("grid").columns.splice(2, 1, { id:"stars", header:"Rates" });

Related sample:  Datatable: Adding/removing Columns

Working with hidden columns

If you work with a Datatable that contains hidden columns, you should get its columns via the getColumns method passing true as a parameter.

The method returns a copy of all columns including the hidden ones. After the changes are made, you need to reset the Datatable by passing the new array in the refreshColumns method.

Resetting columns

// get a copy of all the columns
var columns = $$("grid").getColumns(true);
// add new column 
columns.splice(columns.length-1, 0, {
  id: "col_"+count,
  header:"Column "+count, 
// repaint the table with modified data

Setting Hidden/Visible Columns in Batches

You can divide columns in batches and show/hide them. To assign a batch to a column, set the batch property. To set the initially visible batch of columns, use the visibleBatch setting.

grida = webix.ui({
        { id:"id",  header:"#", css:"rank",  batch:2,   width:50},
        { id:"title", header:"Film title", fillspace:true },
        { id:"year",  batch:1,  header:"Released" , width:80},
        { id:"category", header:"Category", batch:1},
        { id:"votes", batch:3, header:"Votes",  width:100},
        { id:"rating", batch:3, header:"Rating", width:100},
        { id:"rank", header:"Rank", css:"rank",  batch:2,width:50}

Any column batch can be shown with the showColumnBatch method that takes column batch value as parameter:

//show show id, rank
//show votes, rating

Related sample:  Column Batches

Grouping Columns

The functionality is available in Webix Pro edition only.

Column batches can be used to organize batches of columns that are shown/hidden by clicking on the header of an aggregating column:

For these needs a multiple line header is used. The first line of an aggregating column is defined as an object with the following properties:

  • content (string) - here it must be columnGroup (the property is also used to define header filters);
  • batch (string, number) - the ID of the batch;
  • groupText (string) - the title of the batch (it is shown when the batch is closed);
  • closed (boolean) - if true, the batch is initially closed; false by default;
  • colspan (number) - the number of columns in the batch, including the aggregating one.
    //aggregating column
    { id:"2008_1", header:[
      { content:"columnGroup", closed:true, batch:"2008", groupText:"2008", colspan:12},
    //other columns from the group
    { id:"2008_2",  batch:"2008", header:[null, "February"] },
    { id:"2008_3",  batch:"2008", header:[null, "March"] },
    { id:"2008_4",  batch:"2008", header:[null, "April"] },
    // ...

Related sample:  Grouped Columns in DataTable

Setting Colspans/Rowspans

The feature is available in Webix Pro edition only.

Datatable allows defining colspans and rowspans. Spans are stored in the span property in the dataset.

To enable the rowspans and colspans functionality, set the spans parameter to true in the datatable configuration.

Each rowspan/colspan definition consists of the row ID, column ID, width/height of the span, the value to display and the css class to apply:

            [1, "title", 3]

Related sample:  Colspans in Datatable

Read more about colspans and rowspans in Webix datatable header.

Define Popups and Dropdown Editors

You can define configuration of popup and dropdown editors in DataTable columns using the suggest property.

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