Tuesday 8th May, 2018
By Colin Marks


Hi everyone, I'm Colin and I joined the DataTables team late last year to head up testing and to provide customer support in the DataTables forum.

A recent question asked if DataTables, instead of only showing the matching filter results, could show both matching and unmatched records together with some colouring or shading on the rows to differentiate between the two. While not a feature that is available out-of-the-box with DataTables, by using its extensive customisability (callbacks and API methods) the SearchFade plug-in has been created.

As you can see in the example below, unmatched filter results are given a reduced opacity by being assigned the notMatched CSS class. This could easily be changed to display a different font or a different background colour by modifying that class. SearchFade is fully compatible with all other DataTables features and customisations, as it only affects the rows currently being displayed.

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Using SearchFade with your tables is easily done. First, include the Javascript and the CSS for the plug-in on your page:


To enable and use the SearchFade input, make use of layout to position the control around the table - e.g. this will replace the built in default search for DataTables:

    layout: {
        topEnd: 'searchFade'

If you are using a legacy 1.x version of DataTables, you can position it using the dom option with F for SearchFade!:

    dom: 'Flfrtip'

Or finally, you can declare it at the table initialisation stage, then place the search element's node wherever you choose (which is currently the easier option if you are using a styling integration such as Bootstrap or Semantic UI):

var table = $('#myTable').DataTable({
    searchFade: true



SearchFade was implemented with a different input element to enter the search term, since the standard search input removes unmatched records and is not configurable. In the example initialisations above, the standard search would still be available, but could be removed by taking the f option out of the dom string.

The code below uses the API to implement our SearchFade search. Since the row highlighting is only concerned with visible rows, whenever a key is pressed in the input element or if the table is redrawn (perhaps as a result of a page change), all visible rows are checked for the search term, and if not matched, a different CSS styling (by default, this is reduced opacity) is assigned.

var table = new $.fn.dataTable.Api(settings);
var searchFade = $('<div class="searchFade"/>');

table.settings()[0].searchFadeNode = searchFade;

_draw(table, searchFade);

// Trigger a search
searchFade.on('keyup redraw', 'input', function() {
    table.rows(':visible').every(function(rowIdx, tableLoop, rowLoop) {
        var present = true;
        if ($('.searchFadeInput' + table.settings()[0].sTableId).val().length) {
            present = table
                .some(function(v) {
                    return v.match(new RegExp($('.searchFadeInput' + table.settings()[0].sTableId).val(), 'i')) != null;
        $(table.row(rowIdx).node()).toggleClass('notMatched', !present);

table.on('draw', function() {

// API method to get the searchFade container node
this.node = function() {
    return searchFade;

We hope you enjoy this new plugin and have an opportunity to use it on your tables. If you have questions or comments, please leave them in the DataTables forum.

Happy coding!!!