My recent blog post on Creating Paged and Sorted tables in Drupal 7 got a comment today asking if it was possible to implement Paging and Sorting in Drupal tables via Ajax, instead of regular Page refreshes that Drupal does by default.

Why not I thought… Drupal already provides bulk of the server-side framework for the purpose, and Ajax should be a breeze with jQuery. The only thing that would need custom coding would be to hook into the header and paging links and invoke Ajax calls in their click handlers manually, and suppress the page refresh. Then in the server-side code, handle the ajax callback and return the paged and/or sorted table to the browser.

I sat down to write a very simply module demonstrating this entire functionality (which you can find attached). Here I quickly discuss various aspects of the server and client side code for such Ajax paging and sorting.

Let’s call our demo module, mymodule and discuss its server-side code first. Here’s the bulk of the code from the only server-side file: mymodule.module:


{syntaxhighlighter brush: php;fontsize: 100; first-line: 1; }function mymodule_menu(){
$items = array();

//Test items
$items[‘mymodule/test/pager’] = array(
‘title’ => ‘Drupal 7 test pager’,
‘type’ => MENU_CALLBACK,
‘page callback’ => ‘mymodule_test_pager’,
‘access arguments’ => array(‘access content’)

$items[‘mymodule/test/pager/callback’] = array(
‘title’ => ‘Test Pager Callback’,
‘type’ => MENU_CALLBACK,
‘page callback’ => ‘_mymodule_test_pager_callback’,
‘access arguments’ => array(‘access content’),

return $items;

function mymodule_test_pager () {

drupal_add_js(drupal_get_path(‘module’, ‘mymodule’) . ‘/jquery.url.js’);
drupal_add_js(drupal_get_path(‘module’, ‘mymodule’) . ‘/mymodule.js’);
drupal_add_js(‘initializeTable();’, ‘inline’);

return (‘<div id=”table-container”></div>’);

function _mymodule_test_pager_callback () {
//This function is invoked on Ajax request and returns the paged and/or sorted table. You can find code for this in the attached zip file below.

We have used hook_menu here to define 2 menu router entries, the first is a regular Drupal module page which this module uses to demonstrate the Ajaxed table. And the second is for the callback method that receives the ajax callback request and returns the table html to the browser.

Preparing a table and returning the html is all boilerplate code that has been discussed in detail in the other blog post here. Please consult the other blog post if you need to understand the process. The attached code contains the full implementation of the callback method.

The remaining part is client-side where we hook jQuery click handlers to sorting and paging links and perform the same via an ajax call. Here’s the javascript code for the same:


{syntaxhighlighter brush: jscript;fontsize: 100; first-line: 1; }function refreshTable(page, sort, order) {
if(!page) page = 0;
if(!sort) sort = ”;
if(!order) order = ”;

cache: false,
url: Drupal.settings.basePath + ‘?q=mymodule/test/pager/callback’,
data: {page: page, sort: sort, order: order},
dataType: ‘text’,
error: function(request, status, error) {
success: function(data, status, request) {
var html = data;


jQuery(‘#table-container th a’).
add(‘#table-container .pager-item a’)
.add(‘#table-container .pager-first a’)
.add(‘#table-container .pager-previous a’)
.add(‘#table-container .pager-next a’)
.add(‘#table-container .pager-last a’)
.click(function(el, a, b, c) {
var url = jQuery.url(el.currentTarget.getAttribute(‘href’));
refreshTable(url.param(‘page’), url.param(‘sort’), url.param(‘order’));

return (false);

function initializeTable() {
jQuery(document).ready(function() {

Again its pretty standard code that finds desired anchor tags using suitable CSS selectors and then binds a click listener to those anchors to invoke a Ajax call from the click handler.

And voila, you have a completely Ajaxed Paging and Sorting Experience in Drupal 7. To try it, please download the attached zip file, and extract the contents to the “modules” folder of your Drupal installation. Then enable the module from Administration section and test the functionality by visiting in your Drupal installation (replace with the path to your Drupal 7 installation).

It’s pretty similar to achieve such Ajaxed paging and sorting with Drupal 6 also. You can easily combine the code from this blog post and my earlier one regarding Creating Paged and Sorted tables in Drupal 6 to have Ajaxed Paging and Sorting for D6. In case you face an issue doing so with D6, please let me know via comments below and I will try to cough up D6 code also for the same.