datatable: Create an HTML table widget using the DataTables library

View source: R/datatables.R

datatableR Documentation

Create an HTML table widget using the DataTables library


This function creates an HTML widget to display rectangular data (a matrix or data frame) using the JavaScript library DataTables.


  options = list(),
  class = "display",
  callback = JS("return table;"),
  caption = NULL,
  filter = c("none", "bottom", "top"),
  escape = TRUE,
  style = "auto",
  width = NULL,
  height = NULL,
  elementId = NULL,
  fillContainer = getOption("DT.fillContainer", NULL),
  autoHideNavigation = getOption("DT.autoHideNavigation", NULL),
  selection = c("multiple", "single", "none"),
  extensions = list(),
  plugins = NULL,
  editable = FALSE



a data object (either a matrix or a data frame)


a list of initialization options (see; the character options wrapped in JS() will be treated as literal JavaScript code instead of normal character strings; you can also set options globally via options(DT.options = list(...)), and global options will be merged into this options argument if set


the CSS class(es) of the table; see


the body of a JavaScript callback function with the argument table to be applied to the DataTables instance (i.e. table)


TRUE (show row names) or FALSE (hide row names) or a character vector of row names; by default, the row names are displayed in the first column of the table if exist (not NULL)


if missing, the column names of the data; otherwise it can be an unnamed character vector of names you want to show in the table header instead of the default data column names; alternatively, you can provide a named numeric or character vector of the form 'newName1' = i1, 'newName2' = i2 or c('newName1' = 'oldName1', 'newName2' = 'oldName2', ...), where newName is the new name you want to show in the table, and i or oldName is the index of the current column name


a sketch of the HTML table to be filled with data cells; by default, it is generated from htmltools::tags$table() with a table header consisting of the column names of the data


the table caption; a character vector or a tag object generated from htmltools::tags$caption()


whether/where to use column filters; none: no filters; bottom/top: put column filters at the bottom/top of the table; range sliders are used to filter numeric/date/time columns, select lists are used for factor columns, and text input boxes are used for character columns; if you want more control over the styles of filters, you can provide a list to this argument of the form list(position = 'top', clear = TRUE, plain = FALSE), where clear indicates whether you want the clear buttons in the input boxes, and plain means if you want to use Bootstrap form styles or plain text input styles for the text input boxes


whether to escape HTML entities in the table: TRUE means to escape the whole table, and FALSE means not to escape it; alternatively, you can specify numeric column indices or column names to indicate which columns to escape, e.g. 1:5 (the first 5 columns), c(1, 3, 4), or c(-1, -3) (all columns except the first and third), or c('Species', 'Sepal.Length'); since the row names take the first column to display, you should add the numeric column indices by one when using rownames


either 'auto', 'default', 'bootstrap', or 'bootstrap4'. If 'auto', and a **bslib** theme is currently active, then bootstrap styling is used in a way that "just works" for the active theme. Otherwise, DataTables 'default' styling is used. If set explicitly to 'bootstrap' or 'bootstrap4', one must take care to ensure Bootstrap's HTML dependencies (as well as Bootswatch themes, if desired) are included on the page. Note, when set explicitly, it's the user's responsibility to ensure that only one unique 'style' value is used on the same page, if multiple DT tables exist, as different styling resources may conflict with each other.

width, height

Width/Height in pixels (optional, defaults to automatic sizing)


An id for the widget (a random string by default).


TRUE to configure the table to automatically fill it's containing element. If the table can't fit fully into it's container then vertical and/or horizontal scrolling of the table cells will occur.


TRUE to automatically hide navigational UI (only display the table body) when the number of total records is less than the page size. Note, it only works on the client-side processing mode and the 'pageLength' option should be provided explicitly.


the row/column selection mode (single or multiple selection or disable selection) when a table widget is rendered in a Shiny app; alternatively, you can use a list of the form list(mode = 'multiple', selected = c(1, 3, 8), target = 'row', selectable = c(-2, -3)) to pre-select rows and control the selectable range; the element target in the list can be 'column' to enable column selection, or 'row+column' to make it possible to select both rows and columns (click on the footer to select columns), or 'cell' to select cells. See details section for more info.


a character vector of the names of the DataTables extensions (


a character vector of the names of DataTables plug-ins ( Note that only those plugins supported by the DT package can be used here. You can see the available plugins by calling DT:::available_plugins()


FALSE to disable the table editor, or TRUE (or "cell") to enable editing a single cell. Alternatively, you can set it to "row" to be able to edit a row, or "column" to edit a column, or "all" to edit all cells on the current page of the table. In all modes, start editing by doubleclicking on a cell. This argument can also be a list of the form list(target = TARGET, disable = list(columns = INDICES)), where TARGET can be "cell", "row", "column", or "all", and INDICES is an integer vector of column indices. Use the list form if you want to disable editing certain columns. You can also restrict the editing to accept only numbers by setting this argument to a list of the form list(target = TARGET, numeric = INDICES) where INDICES can be the vector of the indices of the columns for which you want to restrict the editing to numbers or "all" to restrict the editing to numbers for all columns. If you don't set numeric, then the editing is restricted to numbers for all numeric columns; set numeric = "none" to disable this behavior. Finally, you can also edit the cells in text areas, which are useful for large contents. For that, set the editable argument to a list of the form list(target = TARGET, area = INDICES) where INDICES can be the vector of the indices of the columns for which you want the text areas, or "all" if you want the text areas for all columns. Of course, you can request the numeric editing for some columns and the text areas for some other columns by setting editable to a list of the form list(target = TARGET, numeric = INDICES1, area = INDICES2).



  1. The argument could be a scalar string, which means the selection mode, whose value could be one of 'multiple' (the default), 'single' and 'none' (disable selection).

  2. When a list form is provided for this argument, only parts of the "full" list are allowed. The default values for non-matched elements are list(mode = 'multiple', selected = NULL, target = 'row', selectable = NULL).

  3. target must be one of 'row', 'column', 'row+column' and 'cell'.

  4. selected could be NULL or "indices".

  5. selectable could be NULL, TRUE, FALSE or "indices", where NULL and TRUE mean all the table is selectable. When FALSE, it means users can't select the table by the cursor (but they could still be able to select the table via dataTableProxy, specifying ignore.selectable = TRUE). If "indices", they must be all positive or non-positive values. All positive "indices" mean only the specified ranges are selectable while all non-positive "indices" mean those ranges are not selectable. The "indices"' format is specified below.

  6. The "indices"' format of selected and selectable: when target is 'row' or 'column', it should be a plain numeric vector; when target is 'row+column', it should be a list, specifying rows and cols respectively, e.g., list(rows = 1, cols = 2); when target is 'cell', it should be a 2-col matrix, where the two values of each row stand for the row and column index.

  7. Note that DT has its own selection implementation and doesn't use the Select extension because the latter doesn't support the server-side processing mode well. Please set this argument to 'none' if you really want to use the Select extension.


  1. columnDefs is an option that provided by the DataTables library itself, where the user can set various attributes for columns. It must be provided as a list of list, where each sub-list must contain a vector named 'targets', specifying the applied columns, i.e., list(list(..., targets = '_all'), list(..., targets = c(1, 2)))

  2. columnDefs$targets is a vector and should be one of:

    • 0 or a positive integer: column index counting from the left.

    • A negative integer: column index counting from the right.

    • A string: the column name. Note, it must be the names of the original data, not the ones that (could) be changed via param colnames.

    • The string "_all": all columns (i.e. assign a default).

  3. When conflicts happen, e.g., a single column is defined for some property twice but with different values, the value that defined earlier takes the priority. For example, list(list(visible=FALSE, target=1), list(visible=TRUE, target=1)) results in a table whose first column is invisible.

  4. See for more.


You are recommended to escape the table content for security reasons (e.g. XSS attacks) when using this function in Shiny or any other dynamic web applications.


See for the full documentation.



# see the package vignette for examples and the link to website
vignette('DT', package = 'DT')

# some boring edge cases for testing purposes
m = matrix(nrow = 0, ncol = 5, dimnames = list(NULL, letters[1:5]))
datatable(m)  # zero rows

m = matrix(1, dimnames = list(NULL, 'a'))
datatable(m)  # one row and one column

m = data.frame(a = 1, b = 2, c = 3)

# dates
  date = seq(as.Date("2015-01-01"), by = "day", length.out = 5), x = 1:5
datatable(data.frame(x = Sys.Date()))
datatable(data.frame(x = Sys.time()))

DT documentation built on May 11, 2022, 1:09 a.m.