Natural sorting

Sort data with a mix of numbers and letters naturally.

  • Author: Allan Jardine
  • Requires: DataTables 2+

Data can often be a complicated mix of numbers and letters (file names are a common example) and sorting them in a natural manner is quite a difficult problem.

Fortunately the Javascript localeCompare method is now widely supported and provides a natural sorting method we can use with DataTables.


This plug-in can be obtained and used in multiple different ways.


This plug-in is available on the DataTables CDN:


The plug-in will then automatically register itself against a global DataTables instance. This file can also be used if you are using an AMD loader such as Require.js.

Note that if you are using multiple plug-ins, it can be beneficial in terms of performance to combine the plug-ins into a single file and host it on your own server, rather than making multiple requests to the DataTables CDN.


The plug-ins are all available on NPM (which can also be used with Yarn or any other Javascript package manager) as part of the package. To use this plug-in, first install the plug-ins package:

npm install

ES modules

Then, if you are using ES modules, import, any other DataTables extensions you need, and the plug-in:

import DataTable from '';
import '';


If you are using a CommonJS loader for Node (e.g. with older versions of Webpack, or non-module Node code) use the following method to require the plug-in:

var $ = require('jquery');
var DataTable = require('');


// Natural sorting
 new DataTable('#myTable',
     columnDefs: [
         { type: 'natural', target: 0 }
 } );
// Html can be stripped from sorting by using 'natural-nohtml' such as
 new DataTable('#myTable',
     columnDefs: [
         { type: 'natural-nohtml', target: 0 }
  } );
// Case insensitive natural sorting
 new DataTable('#myTable',
     columnDefs: [
         { type: 'natural-ci', target: 0 }
  } );

Version control

If you have any ideas for how this plug-in can be improved, or spot anything that is in error, it is available on GitHub and pull requests are very welcome!