O'Reilly

Sort an Array of Objects by Property Using sort(fn)

By on  

Believe it or not, there's more to JavaScript than the helper methods and classes they provide your JavaScript library. No, like seriously bro; these JavaScript-given methods do exist. One of those methods, sort, is provided to every Array instance via its prototype. I've used this method once or twice in the history of ever, bro, since I make every effort to ensure proper sort on the server side, but sometimes you may receive a JSON dump and need to sort on the client side.

Most people would assume that sort would take no method and simply sort the basic items within the array:

[1, 3, 9, 2].sort();
	// Returns: [1, 2, 3, 9]
	
[1, "a", function(){}, {}, 12, "c"].sort();
	// Returns: [1, 12, Object, "a", "c", function (){}]

But nay, broseph! If you provide a function expression to the sort method, you can sort objects within the array using simple logic. Let's say you have an array of objects representing persons and you want to sort them by age. Oh yes, it can be done, and quite easily:

[
	{ name: "Robin Van Persie", age: 28 },
	{ name: "Theo Walcott", age: 22 },
	{ name: "Bacary Sagna", age: 26  }
].sort(function(obj1, obj2) {
	// Ascending: first age less than the previous
	return obj1.age - obj2.age;
});
	// Returns:  
	// [
	//	  { name: "Theo Walcott", age: 22 },
	//	  { name: "Bacary Sagna", age: 26  },
	//	  { name: "Robin Van Persie", age: 28 }
	// ]
	

The anonymous function returns whether or not the first object's age is less than the second's, thus sorting the entire array in ascending order by age. Reverse the first and second arguments to sort in descending order.

So brochacho, now you know how to sort an array of objects using JavaScript. Get to it!

Track.js Error Reporting

Upcoming Events

Recent Features

  • 9 Mind-Blowing WebGL Demos

    As much as developers now loathe Flash, we're still playing a bit of catch up to natively duplicate the animation capabilities that Adobe's old technology provided us.  Of course we have canvas, an awesome technology, one which I highlighted 9 mind-blowing demos.  Another technology available...

  • Create Namespaced Classes with MooTools

    MooTools has always gotten a bit of grief for not inherently using and standardizing namespaced-based JavaScript classes like the Dojo Toolkit does.  Many developers create their classes as globals which is generally frowned up.  I mostly disagree with that stance, but each to their own.  In any event,...

Incredible Demos

Discussion

  1. Boger

    Nice read, never thought to sort objects this way. but man broseph and brochacho got me laugh to death :D

  2. champi

    Great ! how could I do this in PHP ?

  3. A little bit late, but it still may be useful… ;)

    In PHP, it is almost the same. Here is the equivalent code:

    $people = array(
      array('name' => 'Robin Van Persie', 'age' => 28),
      array('name' => 'Theo Walcott', 'age' => 22),
      array('name' => 'Bacary Sagna', 'age' => 26)
    );
    
    usort($people, function($a, $b) {
      return $a['age'] - $b['age'];
    });
    
    var_dump($people);
    

    More informations: http://php.net/manual/fr/function.usort.php

  4. Anil Gautam

    Hey I am tring your code but its not working.

  5. mauro

    hi, i have tryed to bud a sort function by attributes a lot really, and finally i find this blog, your code work for me if the attribute is a number not if it is a string, why? i have to do something in that case? really thank you

  6. Do Jo

    What if I wanted to sort by “name”?

Wrap your code in <pre class="{language}"></pre> tags, link to a GitHub gist, JSFiddle fiddle, or CodePen pen to embed!

Recently on David Walsh Blog

  • Intercept HTTP Requests with Node.js nock

    Unit testing external APIs is difficult no matter what language you do it in.  Hell, working with any external API is scary, if only because you have zero control of networking issues, API changes, and a host of other issues.  But if you do create a service...

  • Introducing Frontend Masters (with Giveaway)

    Hey DWB readers, I'm super happy to sponsor this blog. I've been a long-time reader and fan, since back when David wrote about JavaScript and MooTools back in 2007. ;-) We are in one of the fastest changing, evolving, most lively communities on earth: JavaScript and front-end web...

  • Get Node.js Command Line Arguments with yargs

    Using command line arguments within Node.js apps is par for the course, especially when you're like me and you use JavaScript to code tasks (instead of bash scripts).  Node.js provides process.argv but that doesn't provide a key: value object like you'd expect: Bleh.  If you want to work with a...

  • OâReilly Velocity Conference â New York

    My favorite front-end conference has always been O'Reilly's Velocity Conference because the conference series has focused on one of the most undervalued parts of client side coding:  speed.  So often we're so excited that our JavaScript works that we forget that speed, efficiency, and performance are just as important. The next Velocity...

  • Free Download: Font Bundle Featuring 17 Incredible Typefaces

    The only thing we love more than a good font, is a good free font. So we’ve combed the Web for some of our favorite free fonts, and gathered them here in a single download. You’ll find a variety of useful typefaces, from highly geometric designs...