Sort array of objects by string property value in JavaScript

0 votes
asked Jul 15, 2009 by tyrone-slothrop

I have an array of JavaScript objects:

var objs = [ 
    { first_nom: 'Lazslo', last_nom: 'Jamf'     },
    { first_nom: 'Pig',    last_nom: 'Bodine'   },
    { first_nom: 'Pirate', last_nom: 'Prentice' }
];

How can I sort them by the value of last_nom in JavaScript?

I know about sort(a,b), but that only seems to work on strings and numbers. Do I need to add a toString method to my objects?

29 Answers

0 votes
answered Jan 15, 2009 by christoph

Instead of using a custom comparison function, you could also create an object type with custom toString() method (which is invoked by the default comparison function):

function Person(firstName, lastName) {
    this.firtName = firstName;
    this.lastName = lastName;
}

Person.prototype.toString = function() {
    return this.lastName + ', ' + this.firstName;
}

var persons = [ new Person('Lazslo', 'Jamf'), ...]
persons.sort();
0 votes
answered Jul 15, 2009 by wogan

It's easy enough to write your own comparison function:

function compare(a,b) {
  if (a.last_nom < b.last_nom)
    return -1;
  if (a.last_nom > b.last_nom)
    return 1;
  return 0;
}

objs.sort(compare);

Or inline (c/o Marco Demaio):

objs.sort(function(a,b) {return (a.last_nom > b.last_nom) ? 1 : ((b.last_nom > a.last_nom) ? -1 : 0);} ); 
0 votes
answered Jul 15, 2009 by kennebec

If you have duplicate last names you might sort those by first name-

obj.sort(function(a,b){
  if(a.last_nom< b.last_nom) return -1;
  if(a.last_nom >b.last_nom) return 1;
  if(a.first_nom< b.first_nom) return -1;
  if(a.first_nom >b.first_nom) return 1;
  return 0;
});
0 votes
answered Jan 10, 2012 by vinay-aggarwal

Simple and quick solution to this problem using prototype inheritance:

Array.prototype.sortBy = function(p) {
  return this.slice(0).sort(function(a,b) {
    return (a[p] > b[p]) ? 1 : (a[p] < b[p]) ? -1 : 0;
  });
}

Example / Usage

objs = [{age:44,name:'vinay'},{age:24,name:'deepak'},{age:74,name:'suresh'}];

objs.sortBy('age');
// Returns
// [{"age":24,"name":"deepak"},{"age":44,"name":"vinay"},{"age":74,"name":"suresh"}]

objs.sortBy('name');
// Returns
// [{"age":24,"name":"deepak"},{"age":74,"name":"suresh"},{"age":44,"name":"vinay"}]

Update: No longer modifies original array.

0 votes
answered Jan 16, 2012 by behnam-yousefi

additional desc params for Ege Özcan code

function dynamicSort(property, desc) {
    if (desc) {
        return function (a, b) {
            return (a[property] > b[property]) ? -1 : (a[property] < b[property]) ? 1 : 0;
        }   
    }
    return function (a, b) {
        return (a[property] < b[property]) ? -1 : (a[property] > b[property]) ? 1 : 0;
    }
}
0 votes
answered Jul 10, 2012 by david-morrow

underscore.js

use underscore, its small and awesome...

sortBy_.sortBy(list, iterator, [context]) Returns a sorted copy of list, ranked in ascending order by the results of running each value through iterator. Iterator may also be the string name of the property to sort by (eg. length).

var objs = [ 
  { first_nom: 'Lazslo',last_nom: 'Jamf' },
  { first_nom: 'Pig', last_nom: 'Bodine'  },
  { first_nom: 'Pirate', last_nom: 'Prentice' }
];

var sortedObjs = _.sortBy( objs, 'first_nom' );
0 votes
answered Jan 14, 2013 by burak-keceli

You may need to convert them to the lower case in order to prevent from confusion.

objs.sort(function (a,b) {

var nameA=a.last_nom.toLowerCase(), nameB=b.last_nom.toLowerCase()

if (nameA < nameB)
  return -1;
if (nameA > nameB)
  return 1;
return 0;  //no sorting

})
0 votes
answered Jan 23, 2013 by mike-r

Combining Ege's dynamic solution with Vinay's idea, you get a nice robust solution:

Array.prototype.sortBy = function() {
    function _sortByAttr(attr) {
        var sortOrder = 1;
        if (attr[0] == "-") {
            sortOrder = -1;
            attr = attr.substr(1);
        }
        return function(a, b) {
            var result = (a[attr] < b[attr]) ? -1 : (a[attr] > b[attr]) ? 1 : 0;
            return result * sortOrder;
        }
    }
    function _getSortFunc() {
        if (arguments.length == 0) {
            throw "Zero length arguments not allowed for Array.sortBy()";
        }
        var args = arguments;
        return function(a, b) {
            for (var result = 0, i = 0; result == 0 && i < args.length; i++) {
                result = _sortByAttr(args[i])(a, b);
            }
            return result;
        }
    }
    return this.sort(_getSortFunc.apply(null, arguments));
}

Usage:

// Utility for printing objects
Array.prototype.print = function(title) {
    console.log("************************************************************************");
    console.log("**** "+title);
    console.log("************************************************************************");
    for (var i = 0; i < this.length; i++) {
        console.log("Name: "+this[i].FirstName, this[i].LastName, "Age: "+this[i].Age);
    }
}

// Setup sample data
var arrObj = [
    {FirstName: "Zach", LastName: "Emergency", Age: 35},
    {FirstName: "Nancy", LastName: "Nurse", Age: 27},
    {FirstName: "Ethel", LastName: "Emergency", Age: 42},
    {FirstName: "Nina", LastName: "Nurse", Age: 48},
    {FirstName: "Anthony", LastName: "Emergency", Age: 44},
    {FirstName: "Nina", LastName: "Nurse", Age: 32},
    {FirstName: "Ed", LastName: "Emergency", Age: 28},
    {FirstName: "Peter", LastName: "Physician", Age: 58},
    {FirstName: "Al", LastName: "Emergency", Age: 51},
    {FirstName: "Ruth", LastName: "Registration", Age: 62},
    {FirstName: "Ed", LastName: "Emergency", Age: 38},
    {FirstName: "Tammy", LastName: "Triage", Age: 29},
    {FirstName: "Alan", LastName: "Emergency", Age: 60},
    {FirstName: "Nina", LastName: "Nurse", Age: 54}
];

//Unit Tests
arrObj.sortBy("LastName").print("LastName Ascending");
arrObj.sortBy("-LastName").print("LastName Descending");
arrObj.sortBy("LastName", "FirstName", "-Age").print("LastName Ascending, FirstName Ascending, Age Descending");
arrObj.sortBy("-FirstName", "Age").print("FirstName Descending, Age Ascending");
arrObj.sortBy("-Age").print("Age Descending");
0 votes
answered Jan 18, 2014 by agershun

Acording your example, you need to sort by two fields (last name, first name), rather then one. You can use Alasql library to make this sort in one line:

var res = alasql('SELECT * FROM ? ORDER BY last_nom, first_nom',[objs]);

Try this example at jsFiddle.

0 votes
answered Jan 30, 2014 by fold-left

Example Usage:

objs.sort(sortBy('last_nom'));

Script:

/**
 * @description 
 * Returns a function which will sort an
 * array of objects by the given key.
 * 
 * @param  {String}  key
 * @param  {Boolean} reverse
 * @return {Function}     
 */
function sortBy(key, reverse) {

  // Move smaller items towards the front
  // or back of the array depending on if
  // we want to sort the array in reverse
  // order or not.
  var moveSmaller = reverse ? 1 : -1;

  // Move larger items towards the front
  // or back of the array depending on if
  // we want to sort the array in reverse
  // order or not.
  var moveLarger = reverse ? -1 : 1;

  /**
   * @param  {*} a
   * @param  {*} b
   * @return {Number}
   */
  return function(a, b) {
    if (a[key] < b[key]) {
      return moveSmaller;
    }
    if (a[key] > b[key]) {
      return moveLarger;
    }
    return 0;
  };

}
Welcome to Q&A, where you can ask questions and receive answers from other members of the community.
Website Online Counter

...