How to format GridView or DataGrid Using JQuery

datagrid using jquery

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This is based on a question asked by one of my blog readers.

I have 2 datagrids. Each Grid has the same amount of columns and each grid has a select column as the last column on the right added from the "gridview/ edit Columns/ CommandField/ Add" sequence. The first GridView has the Select column as a Link The second GridView has the select Column as a button I want to be able to change the text for both the Link and button in cell(4), setting them to the value in cell(1) from the same row using the GridView_RowDataBound event. However, using "cell(4).text = cell(1).text" just overwrites the text value removing the hyperlink and button.

The behavior described in this question is as expected. When you set text of a cell in grid, it directly affects HTML that is going to be rendered. When you set text value of a cell, it means that you are setting innerText of the cell. The column that GridView creates for command fields (Edit, Delete and Select) are a (anchor) or button elements. So you can see what will happen if you set text value in that cell. It will wipe out those link or button controls and replace them with simple text string.

There are properties like EditText, DeleteText and SelectText for CommandField column in grid view. If you try to set these values using a server side method by passing it DataContainer object, you will get following exception thrown.

Databinding expressions are only supported on objects that have a DataBinding event. 
System.Web.UI.WebControls.CommandField does not have a DataBinding event.

After looking at the requirements, i realized that requirements are as simple as replacing text with value from another cell in the same row. There is no need for doing any server side tricks or things like that. I can simple put together a simple client side java script that will take values from cell 1 and put them in whatever cell I want. Abd I came up with this small javascript solution using jQuery. This small code snippet shows how you can manipulate GridView or DataGrid on client side using jQuery. Let me show you the client side javascript that I added on the page. Then I will explain what this code is doing.

<script type="text/javascript">
function updateCommandLinks() {
 var $gridTable = $('#productsGrid');
 var rows = $gridTable.find('tbody > tr');
 var slicedRows = rows.slice(1, rows.length - 2);
 slicedRows.each(function() {
  var cells = $(this).find('td');
  var cellElem1 = cells.get(1);
  var cellElem5 = cells.get(5);
  $(cellElem5).find('a').each(function() {
   $(this).addClass('commandlink').append(" " + cellElem1.innerText);

$(document).ready(function() {

The above code may look little verbose considering you can write very concise code using jQuery. But for sale of explaining and debugging, I decided to make it little bit verbose. I am sure you can reduce it to half the lines of code that I have written.

The implementation adds a handler for document load event. In that event handler here are the steps it follows:

  1. Finds the element that has id of productsGrid. In our case, that is HTML element ID of our grid view.
  2. In the table, it gets collection of all the rows, identified by tr tag.
  3. Since in my implementation I have header and pager, that adds three rows into the collection. One top row for the header and then the last row itself will contain another table that contains a row for paging elements. To keep it simple, I decided to use slice function to remove first and last 2 rows from collection. You will need to modify this implementation depending on your grid rendering.
  4. It iterates over each row in the collection.
  5. For each row it then finds all cells, identified by td tag.
  6. In my case, I want to replace text in command links with text from second column. So I saved reference to cell at index 1 by using get function.
  7. Then I extracted all elements with tag a from sixth column.
  8. Then it iterates over collection of anchor a tags and appends text from second cell to text in each of the links.

I think that is a simple implementation that serves the purpose without making any changes on the server side. The attached project has the complete implementation for this grid. This is a Visual Studio 2010 project. But you should be able to copy the script from the page to your implementation.

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