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UI/API/1.7.2/Sortable

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jQuery UI Sortable

Overview

The jQuery UI Sortable plugin makes selected elements sortable by dragging with the mouse.

All callbacks receive two arguments: The original browser event and a prepared ui object, view below for a documentation of this object (if you name your second argument 'ui'):

  • ui.helper - the current helper element (most often a clone of the item)
  • ui.position - current position of the helper
  • ui.offset - current absolute position of the helper
  • ui.item - the current dragged element
  • ui.placeholder - the placeholder (if you defined one)
  • ui.sender - the sortable where the item comes from (only exists if you move from one connected list to another)

Dependencies

  • UI Core

Example

A simple jQuery UI Sortable.

$("#sortable").sortable();

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
  <link href="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jqueryui/1.8/themes/base/jquery-ui.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"/>
  <script src="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.4/jquery.min.js"></script>
  <script src="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jqueryui/1.8/jquery-ui.min.js"></script>
  <script type="text/javascript" src="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.3.2/jquery.min.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jqueryui/1.7.2/jquery-ui.min.js"></script>

  <script>
  $(document).ready(function() {
    $("#sortable").sortable();
  });
  </script>
</head>
<body style="font-size:62.5%;">
  
<ul id="sortable">
<li>Item 1</li>
<li>Item 2</li>
<li>Item 3</li>
<li>Item 4</li>
<li>Item 5</li>
</ul>

</body>
</html>

Options

  • disabled

    Type:
    Boolean
    Default:
    false

    Disables (true) or enables (false) the sortable. Can be set when initialising (first creating) the sortable.

    Code examples

    Initialize a sortable with the disabled option specified.
    $( ".selector" ).sortable({ disabled: true });
    Get or set the disabled option, after init.
    //getter
    var disabled = $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "disabled" );
    //setter
    $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "disabled", true );
  • appendTo

    Type:
    String
    Default:
    'parent'

    Defines where the helper that moves with the mouse is being appended to during the drag (for example, to resolve overlap/zIndex issues).

    Code examples

    Initialize a sortable with the appendTo option specified.
    $( ".selector" ).sortable({ appendTo: 'body' });
    Get or set the appendTo option, after init.
    //getter
    var appendTo = $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "appendTo" );
    //setter
    $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "appendTo", 'body' );
  • axis

    Type:
    String
    Default:
    false

    If defined, the items can be dragged only horizontally or vertically. Possible values:'x', 'y'.

    Code examples

    Initialize a sortable with the axis option specified.
    $( ".selector" ).sortable({ axis: 'x' });
    Get or set the axis option, after init.
    //getter
    var axis = $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "axis" );
    //setter
    $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "axis", 'x' );
  • cancel

    Type:
    Selector
    Default:
    ':input,button'

    Prevents sorting if you start on elements matching the selector.

    Code examples

    Initialize a sortable with the cancel option specified.
    $( ".selector" ).sortable({ cancel: 'button' });
    Get or set the cancel option, after init.
    //getter
    var cancel = $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "cancel" );
    //setter
    $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "cancel", 'button' );
  • connectWith

    Type:
    Selector
    Default:
    false

    Takes a jQuery selector with items that also have sortables applied. If used, the sortable is now connected to the other one-way, so you can drag from this sortable to the other.

    Code examples

    Initialize a sortable with the connectWith option specified.
    $( ".selector" ).sortable({ connectWith: '.otherlist' });
    Get or set the connectWith option, after init.
    //getter
    var connectWith = $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "connectWith" );
    //setter
    $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "connectWith", '.otherlist' );
  • containment

    Type:
    Element, String, Selector
    Default:
    false

    Constrains dragging to within the bounds of the specified element - can be a DOM element, 'parent', 'document', 'window', or a jQuery selector.

    Code examples

    Initialize a sortable with the containment option specified.
    $( ".selector" ).sortable({ containment: 'parent' });
    Get or set the containment option, after init.
    //getter
    var containment = $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "containment" );
    //setter
    $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "containment", 'parent' );
  • cursor

    Type:
    String
    Default:
    'auto'

    Defines the cursor that is being shown while sorting.

    Code examples

    Initialize a sortable with the cursor option specified.
    $( ".selector" ).sortable({ cursor: 'crosshair' });
    Get or set the cursor option, after init.
    //getter
    var cursor = $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "cursor" );
    //setter
    $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "cursor", 'crosshair' );
  • cursorAt

    Type:
    Object
    Default:
    false

    Moves the sorting element or helper so the cursor always appears to drag from the same position. Coordinates can be given as a hash using a combination of one or two keys: { top, left, right, bottom }.

    Code examples

    Initialize a sortable with the cursorAt option specified.
    $( ".selector" ).sortable({ cursorAt: 'top' });
    Get or set the cursorAt option, after init.
    //getter
    var cursorAt = $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "cursorAt" );
    //setter
    $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "cursorAt", 'top' );
  • delay

    Type:
    Integer
    Default:
    0

    Time in milliseconds to define when the sorting should start. It helps preventing unwanted drags when clicking on an element.

    Code examples

    Initialize a sortable with the delay option specified.
    $( ".selector" ).sortable({ delay: 500 });
    Get or set the delay option, after init.
    //getter
    var delay = $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "delay" );
    //setter
    $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "delay", 500 );
  • distance

    Type:
    Integer
    Default:
    1

    Tolerance, in pixels, for when sorting should start. If specified, sorting will not start until after mouse is dragged beyond distance. Can be used to allow for clicks on elements within a handle.

    Code examples

    Initialize a sortable with the distance option specified.
    $( ".selector" ).sortable({ distance: 30 });
    Get or set the distance option, after init.
    //getter
    var distance = $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "distance" );
    //setter
    $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "distance", 30 );
  • dropOnEmpty

    Type:
    Boolean
    Default:
    true

    If false items from this sortable can't be dropped to an empty linked sortable.

    Code examples

    Initialize a sortable with the dropOnEmpty option specified.
    $( ".selector" ).sortable({ dropOnEmpty: false });
    Get or set the dropOnEmpty option, after init.
    //getter
    var dropOnEmpty = $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "dropOnEmpty" );
    //setter
    $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "dropOnEmpty", false );
  • forceHelperSize

    Type:
    Boolean
    Default:
    false

    If true, forces the helper to have a size.

    Code examples

    Initialize a sortable with the forceHelperSize option specified.
    $( ".selector" ).sortable({ forceHelperSize: true });
    Get or set the forceHelperSize option, after init.
    //getter
    var forceHelperSize = $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "forceHelperSize" );
    //setter
    $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "forceHelperSize", true );
  • forcePlaceholderSize

    Type:
    Boolean
    Default:
    false

    If true, forces the placeholder to have a size.

    Code examples

    Initialize a sortable with the forcePlaceholderSize option specified.
    $( ".selector" ).sortable({ forcePlaceholderSize: true });
    Get or set the forcePlaceholderSize option, after init.
    //getter
    var forcePlaceholderSize = $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "forcePlaceholderSize" );
    //setter
    $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "forcePlaceholderSize", true );
  • grid

    Type:
    Array
    Default:
    false

    Snaps the sorting element or helper to a grid, every x and y pixels. Array values: [x, y]

    Code examples

    Initialize a sortable with the grid option specified.
    $( ".selector" ).sortable({ grid: [50, 20] });
    Get or set the grid option, after init.
    //getter
    var grid = $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "grid" );
    //setter
    $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "grid", [50, 20] );
  • handle

    Type:
    Selector, Element
    Default:
    false

    Restricts sort start click to the specified element.

    Code examples

    Initialize a sortable with the handle option specified.
    $( ".selector" ).sortable({ handle: 'h2' });
    Get or set the handle option, after init.
    //getter
    var handle = $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "handle" );
    //setter
    $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "handle", 'h2' );
  • helper

    Type:
    String, Function
    Default:
    'original'

    Allows for a helper element to be used for dragging display. The supplied function receives the event and the element being sorted, and should return a DOMElement to be used as a custom proxy helper. Possible values: 'original', 'clone'

    Code examples

    Initialize a sortable with the helper option specified.
    $( ".selector" ).sortable({ helper: 'clone' });
    Get or set the helper option, after init.
    //getter
    var helper = $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "helper" );
    //setter
    $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "helper", 'clone' );
  • items

    Type:
    Selector
    Default:
    '> *'

    Specifies which items inside the element should be sortable.

    Code examples

    Initialize a sortable with the items option specified.
    $( ".selector" ).sortable({ items: 'li' });
    Get or set the items option, after init.
    //getter
    var items = $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "items" );
    //setter
    $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "items", 'li' );
  • opacity

    Type:
    Float
    Default:
    false

    Defines the opacity of the helper while sorting. From 0.01 to 1

    Code examples

    Initialize a sortable with the opacity option specified.
    $( ".selector" ).sortable({ opacity: 0.6 });
    Get or set the opacity option, after init.
    //getter
    var opacity = $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "opacity" );
    //setter
    $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "opacity", 0.6 );
  • placeholder

    Type:
    String
    Default:
    false

    Class that gets applied to the otherwise white space.

    Code examples

    Initialize a sortable with the placeholder option specified.
    $( ".selector" ).sortable({ placeholder: 'ui-state-highlight' });
    Get or set the placeholder option, after init.
    //getter
    var placeholder = $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "placeholder" );
    //setter
    $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "placeholder", 'ui-state-highlight' );
  • revert

    Type:
    Boolean/Integer
    Default:
    false

    If set to true, the item will be reverted to its new DOM position with a smooth animation. Optionally, it can also be set to a number that controls the duration of the animation in ms.

    Code examples

    Initialize a sortable with the revert option specified.
    $( ".selector" ).sortable({ revert: true });
    Get or set the revert option, after init.
    //getter
    var revert = $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "revert" );
    //setter
    $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "revert", true );
  • scroll

    Type:
    Boolean
    Default:
    true

    If set to true, the page scrolls when coming to an edge.

    Code examples

    Initialize a sortable with the scroll option specified.
    $( ".selector" ).sortable({ scroll: false });
    Get or set the scroll option, after init.
    //getter
    var scroll = $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "scroll" );
    //setter
    $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "scroll", false );
  • scrollSensitivity

    Type:
    Integer
    Default:
    20

    Defines how near the mouse must be to an edge to start scrolling.

    Code examples

    Initialize a sortable with the scrollSensitivity option specified.
    $( ".selector" ).sortable({ scrollSensitivity: 40 });
    Get or set the scrollSensitivity option, after init.
    //getter
    var scrollSensitivity = $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "scrollSensitivity" );
    //setter
    $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "scrollSensitivity", 40 );
  • scrollSpeed

    Type:
    Integer
    Default:
    20

    The speed at which the window should scroll once the mouse pointer gets within the scrollSensitivity distance.

    Code examples

    Initialize a sortable with the scrollSpeed option specified.
    $( ".selector" ).sortable({ scrollSpeed: 40 });
    Get or set the scrollSpeed option, after init.
    //getter
    var scrollSpeed = $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "scrollSpeed" );
    //setter
    $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "scrollSpeed", 40 );
  • tolerance

    Type:
    String
    Default:
    'intersect'

    This is the way the reordering behaves during drag. Possible values: 'intersect', 'pointer'. In some setups, 'pointer' is more natural.

    • intersect: draggable overlaps the droppable at least 50%
    • pointer: mouse pointer overlaps the droppable

    Code examples

    Initialize a sortable with the tolerance option specified.
    $( ".selector" ).sortable({ tolerance: 'pointer' });
    Get or set the tolerance option, after init.
    //getter
    var tolerance = $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "tolerance" );
    //setter
    $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "tolerance", 'pointer' );
  • zIndex

    Type:
    Integer
    Default:
    1000

    Z-index for element/helper while being sorted.

    Code examples

    Initialize a sortable with the zIndex option specified.
    $( ".selector" ).sortable({ zIndex: 5 });
    Get or set the zIndex option, after init.
    //getter
    var zIndex = $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "zIndex" );
    //setter
    $( ".selector" ).sortable( "option", "zIndex", 5 );

Events

  • start

    Type:
    sortstart

    This event is triggered when sorting starts.

    Code examples

    Supply a callback function to handle the start event as an init option.
    $( ".selector" ).sortable({
       start: function(event, ui) { ... }
    });
    Bind to the start event by type: sortstart.
    $( ".selector" ).bind( "sortstart", function(event, ui) {
      ...
    });
  • sort

    Type:
    sort

    This event is triggered during sorting.

    Code examples

    Supply a callback function to handle the sort event as an init option.
    $( ".selector" ).sortable({
       sort: function(event, ui) { ... }
    });
    Bind to the sort event by type: sort.
    $( ".selector" ).bind( "sort", function(event, ui) {
      ...
    });
  • change

    Type:
    sortchange

    This event is triggered during sorting, but only when the DOM position has changed.

    Code examples

    Supply a callback function to handle the change event as an init option.
    $( ".selector" ).sortable({
       change: function(event, ui) { ... }
    });
    Bind to the change event by type: sortchange.
    $( ".selector" ).bind( "sortchange", function(event, ui) {
      ...
    });
  • beforeStop

    Type:
    sortbeforeStop

    This event is triggered when sorting stops, but when the placeholder/helper is still available.

    Code examples

    Supply a callback function to handle the beforeStop event as an init option.
    $( ".selector" ).sortable({
       beforeStop: function(event, ui) { ... }
    });
    Bind to the beforeStop event by type: sortbeforeStop.
    $( ".selector" ).bind( "sortbeforeStop", function(event, ui) {
      ...
    });
  • stop

    Type:
    sortstop

    This event is triggered when sorting has stopped.

    Code examples

    Supply a callback function to handle the stop event as an init option.
    $( ".selector" ).sortable({
       stop: function(event, ui) { ... }
    });
    Bind to the stop event by type: sortstop.
    $( ".selector" ).bind( "sortstop", function(event, ui) {
      ...
    });
  • update

    Type:
    sortupdate

    This event is triggered when the user stopped sorting and the DOM position has changed.

    Code examples

    Supply a callback function to handle the update event as an init option.
    $( ".selector" ).sortable({
       update: function(event, ui) { ... }
    });
    Bind to the update event by type: sortupdate.
    $( ".selector" ).bind( "sortupdate", function(event, ui) {
      ...
    });
  • receive

    Type:
    sortreceive

    This event is triggered when a connected sortable list has received an item from another list.

    Code examples

    Supply a callback function to handle the receive event as an init option.
    $( ".selector" ).sortable({
       receive: function(event, ui) { ... }
    });
    Bind to the receive event by type: sortreceive.
    $( ".selector" ).bind( "sortreceive", function(event, ui) {
      ...
    });
  • remove

    Type:
    sortremove

    This event is triggered when a sortable item has been dragged out from the list and into another.

    Code examples

    Supply a callback function to handle the remove event as an init option.
    $( ".selector" ).sortable({
       remove: function(event, ui) { ... }
    });
    Bind to the remove event by type: sortremove.
    $( ".selector" ).bind( "sortremove", function(event, ui) {
      ...
    });
  • over

    Type:
    sortover

    This event is triggered when a sortable item is moved into a connected list.

    Code examples

    Supply a callback function to handle the over event as an init option.
    $( ".selector" ).sortable({
       over: function(event, ui) { ... }
    });
    Bind to the over event by type: sortover.
    $( ".selector" ).bind( "sortover", function(event, ui) {
      ...
    });
  • out

    Type:
    sortout

    This event is triggered when a sortable item is moved away from a connected list.

    Code examples

    Supply a callback function to handle the out event as an init option.
    $( ".selector" ).sortable({
       out: function(event, ui) { ... }
    });
    Bind to the out event by type: sortout.
    $( ".selector" ).bind( "sortout", function(event, ui) {
      ...
    });
  • activate

    Type:
    sortactivate

    This event is triggered when using connected lists, every connected list on drag start receives it.

    Code examples

    Supply a callback function to handle the activate event as an init option.
    $( ".selector" ).sortable({
       activate: function(event, ui) { ... }
    });
    Bind to the activate event by type: sortactivate.
    $( ".selector" ).bind( "sortactivate", function(event, ui) {
      ...
    });
  • deactivate

    Type:
    sortdeactivate

    This event is triggered when sorting was stopped, is propagated to all possible connected lists.

    Code examples

    Supply a callback function to handle the deactivate event as an init option.
    $( ".selector" ).sortable({
       deactivate: function(event, ui) { ... }
    });
    Bind to the deactivate event by type: sortdeactivate.
    $( ".selector" ).bind( "sortdeactivate", function(event, ui) {
      ...
    });

Methods

  • destroy

    Signature:
    .sortable( "destroy" )

    Remove the sortable functionality completely. This will return the element back to its pre-init state.

  • disable

    Signature:
    .sortable( "disable" )

    Disable the sortable.

  • enable

    Signature:
    .sortable( "enable" )

    Enable the sortable.

  • option

    Signature:
    .sortable( "option" , optionName , [value] )

    Get or set any sortable option. If no value is specified, will act as a getter.

  • option

    Signature:
    .sortable( "option" , options )

    Set multiple sortable options at once by providing an options object.

  • widget

    Signature:
    .sortable( "widget" )

    Returns the .ui-sortable element.

  • serialize

    Signature:
    .sortable( "serialize" , [options] )

    Serializes the sortable's item id's into a form/ajax submittable string. Calling this method produces a hash that can be appended to any url to easily submit a new item order back to the server.

    It works by default by looking at the id of each item in the format 'setname_number', and it spits out a hash like "setname[]=number&setname[]=number".

    You can also give in a option hash as second argument to custom define how the function works. The possible options are: 'key' (replaces part1[] with whatever you want), 'attribute' (test another attribute than 'id') and 'expression' (use your own regexp).

    If serialize returns an empty string, make sure the id attributes include an underscore. They must be in the form: "set_number" For example, a 3 element list with id attributes foo_1, foo_5, foo_2 will serialize to foo[]=1&foo[]=5&foo[]=2. You can use an underscore, equal sign or hyphen to separate the set and number. For example foo=1 or foo-1 or foo_1 all serialize to foo[]=1.

  • toArray

    Signature:
    .sortable( "toArray" )

    Serializes the sortable's item id's into an array of string. If you have

    <ul id="a_sortable"><br>
    <li id="hello">Hello</li><br>
    <li id="goodbye">Good bye</li><br>
    </ul>
    

    and do

    var result = $('#a_sortable').sortable('toArray');

    then

    result[0] will contain "hello" and result[1] will contain "goodbye".

  • refresh

    Signature:
    .sortable( "refresh" )

    Refresh the sortable items. Custom trigger the reloading of all sortable items, causing new items to be recognized.

  • refreshPositions

    Signature:
    .sortable( "refreshPositions" )

    Refresh the cached positions of the sortables' items. Calling this method refreshes the cached item positions of all sortables. This is usually done automatically by the script and slows down performance. Use wisely.

  • cancel

    Signature:
    .sortable( "cancel" )

    Cancels a change in the current sortable and reverts it back to how it was before the current sort started. Useful in the stop and receive callback functions.

    If the sortable item is not being moved from one connected sortable to another:

    $(this).sortable('cancel');

    will cancel the change.

    If the sortable item is being moved from one connected sortable to another:

    $(ui.sender).sortable('cancel');

    will cancel the change. Useful in the 'receive' callback.

Theming

The jQuery UI Sortable plugin uses the jQuery UI CSS Framework to style its look and feel, including colors and background textures. We recommend using the ThemeRoller tool to create and download custom themes that are easy to build and maintain.

If a deeper level of customization is needed, there are widget-specific classes referenced within the jquery.ui.sortable.css stylesheet that can be modified. These classes are highlighed in bold below.

Sample markup with jQuery UI CSS Framework classes

<ul class="ui-sortable">
   <li></li>
   <li></li>
   <li></li>
</ul>

Note: This is a sample of markup generated by the sortable plugin, not markup you should use to create a sortable. The only markup needed for that is
<ul>
   <li></li>
   <li></li>
   <li></li>
</ul>.