Generic Flex Datagrid case insensitive sort

11 03 2008

Well, i’m not a big fan of this, but Flex’s Datagrid control doesn’t have a nice little property allowing case-insensitive string sorts.


The best solution I could find was on the flexexamples blog. But seriously, who wants to hard code a function every time they want case-insensitive sorting ?

Not I.

How about this soln?

public function doCaselessSortForField(field:String):Function

return function(obj1:Object, obj2:Object):int



Called by a datagrid thusly:


sortCompareFunction=”doCaselessSortForField(‘Title’)” headerText=”Title” dataField=”Title” />




17 responses

13 06 2008

Thank you! I’m new to Flex/AS3 and didn’t even realize the “field” had to be referenced in the compare function until seeing your solution.

Here’s a generic numeric sort:

public function sortNumericField(field:String):Function
return function(obj1:Object, obj2:Object):int
return mx.Utils.ObjectUtil.numericCompare(obj1[field],obj2[field]);

6 08 2008

Very nice code! Thanks for sharing :).

15 08 2008

Brilliant. Thanks for the solution; it saved me from creating redundant functions for each field.

22 10 2008

This is a great tip!

21 04 2009

Thanks a lot……found this initially…didnt work….tried many different things for 3 days and finally tried this again and it worked 🙂

29 04 2009

You’re briliant, thank you very much

29 07 2009

Well done sir

12 08 2009
Joshua Curtiss

Solid gold. Thx.

16 09 2009

A little more generic example, doesn’t require the field name or nested function:

public function numericCompare( a:Object, b:Object ):int {
var field:String = dataProvider.sort.fields[0].name;
return ObjectUtil.numericCompare( a[field], b[field] );

17 11 2009
Brandon G


Thanks for the generic example. It was exactly what I needed.

9 02 2010
Jake Howlett

Just want to add one more message of praise. Insprired!

11 03 2010
Chris R

Just wanted to say this was exactly what I was looking for. However, for anyone that is setting the dataField with an attribute like dataField=”@moduleId”, the main example will throw an error. Ritter’s example below solved this issue, Thanks again

public function numericCompare( a:Object, b:Object ):int {
var field:String = dataProvider.sort.fields[0].name;
return ObjectUtil.numericCompare( a[field], b[field] );

21 07 2010
Karthik Hariharan

Brilliant… Thanks, just what I needed….

2 09 2010
Fipsn Ast


in my opinion your solution:

var field:String = dataProvider.sort.fields[0].name;

is not really more generic, because you create more dependencies since you use the dataProvider to get the field name. And if you want to reuse the caseInsensitive compare function in another datagrid you’ll have to copy the same function from the original datagrid into the new component. So creating a static function with the original code provided by justin seems to be the best solution. Here is my packaged version (including checks for hte field name, in order to avoid NullPointerExceptions):

public static function sortStringCaseInsensitveForField(field:String):Function
return function(obj1:Object, obj2:Object):int
// Make sure obj1 has a field property.
if (!obj1.hasOwnProperty(field)) {
obj1[field] = null;
// Make sure obj2 has a field property.
if (!obj2.hasOwnProperty(field)) {
obj2[field] = null;
return ObjectUtil.stringCompare(obj1[field],obj2[field],true);

6 11 2010

Absolutely brilliant, this one helped me a lot. Thanks.

26 10 2011
Web em Segundos (@webemsegundos)

In Flex 4, is necessary put { } when call function like this:

It works fine on AdvancedDataGrid too.

23 05 2012

Thanks for that, used it to do this:

package datagrid
import mx.controls.dataGridClasses.DataGridColumn;
import mx.utils.ObjectUtil;

public class ExtendedDataGridColumn extends DataGridColumn
private var _caselessSorting:Boolean;

public function ExtendedDataGridColumn(columnName:String=null)
caselessSorting = true;

public function get caselessSorting():Boolean
return _caselessSorting;

public function set caselessSorting(value:Boolean):void
_caselessSorting = value;
sortCompareFunction = caselessSort;
else if(sortCompareFunction == caselessSort)
sortCompareFunction = null;

protected function caselessSort(obj1:Object, obj2:Object):int
return ObjectUtil.stringCompare(itemToLabel(obj1), itemToLabel(obj2), true);


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