how do I create an HTML table with fixed/frozen left column and scrollable body?

0 votes
asked Aug 21, 2009 by agsamek

How do I create an HTML table with fixed/frozen left column and scrollable body?

I need a simple solution. I know it's similar to some other questions, like:

But I need just a single left column to be frozen and I would prefer a simple and script-less solution.

16 Answers

0 votes
answered Aug 21, 2009 by chaos

Style the left column with position: fixed. (You'll presumably want to use top and left styles to control where exactly it occurs.)

0 votes
answered Aug 21, 2009 by eamon-nerbonne

Alternatively, style the tbody with a predetermined size (via height:20em, for example) and use overflow-y:scroll;

Then, you can have a huge tbody, which will scroll independently of the rest of the page.

0 votes
answered Aug 21, 2009 by eamon-nerbonne

If you want a table where only the columns scroll horizontally, you can position: absolute the first column (and specify its width explicitly), and then wrap the entire table in an overflow-x: scroll block. Don't bother trying this in IE7, however...

Relevant HTML & CSS:

table {
  border-collapse: separate;
  border-spacing: 0;
  border-top: 1px solid grey;
}

td, th {
  margin: 0;
  border: 1px solid grey;
  white-space: nowrap;
  border-top-width: 0px;
}

div {
  width: 500px;
  overflow-x: scroll;
  margin-left: 5em;
  overflow-y: visible;
  padding: 0;
}

.headcol {
  position: absolute;
  width: 5em;
  left: 0;
  top: auto;
  border-top-width: 1px;
  /*only relevant for first row*/
  margin-top: -1px;
  /*compensate for top border*/
}

.headcol:before {
  content: 'Row ';
}

.long {
  background: yellow;
  letter-spacing: 1em;
}
<div>
<table>
        <tr><th class="headcol">1</th><td class="long">QWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM</td><td class="long">QWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM</td></tr>
        <tr><th class="headcol">2</th><td class="long">QWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM</td><td class="long">QWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM</td></tr>
        <tr><th class="headcol">3</th><td class="long">QWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM</td><td class="long">QWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM</td></tr>
        <tr><th class="headcol">4</th><td class="long">QWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM</td><td class="long">QWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM</td></tr>
        <tr><th class="headcol">5</th><td class="long">QWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM</td><td class="long">QWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM</td></tr>
        <tr><th class="headcol">6</th><td class="long">QWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM</td><td class="long">QWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM</td></tr>
</table>
</div>
0 votes
answered Aug 4, 2011 by markos-fragkakis

This is an interesting jQuery plugin that creates fixed headers and/or columns. Toggle fixed column to be true on the demo page to see it in action.

0 votes
answered Aug 8, 2011 by mrmuggles

If you're in Webdevelopper hell and need to make this work for IE6, here's a sample code I used:

<html>
<head>
<style type="text/css">
.fixme {
    position: relative;
    left: expression( ( 20 + ( ignoreMe2 = document.documentElement.scrollLeft ? document.documentElement.scrollLeft : document.body.scrollLeft ) ) + 'px' );
    background-color: #FFFFFF;
}
</style>
</head>
<body>
<table width="1500px" border="2">
    <tr>
        <td class="fixme" style="width: 200px;">loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet</td>
        <td>loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet </td>
        <td>loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet </td>
        <td>loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet </td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
        <td class="fixme" style="width: 200px;">loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet </td>
        <td>loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet </td>
        <td>loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet </td>
        <td>loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet </td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
        <td class="fixme" style="width: 200px;">loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet </td>
        <td>loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet </td>
        <td>loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet </td>
        <td>loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet </td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
        <td class="fixme" style="width: 200px;">loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet </td>
        <td>loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet </td>
        <td>loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet </td>
        <td>loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet loremp ispum dolor sit amet </td>
    </tr>
</table>
</body>
</html>

This will work probably ONLY for IE6, so use conditional comments for the CSS.

0 votes
answered Aug 19, 2013 by user2378892

Opera was buggy for all of the previous answers when I tested them on my mac. If you scroll through the table the fixed column disappears after you pass the first unfixed column. I went ahead and wrote the code below. It works in all the browsers I have locally installed. I don't know how ie handles it though.

Just keep that in mind that if you intend to skip rows in one table and not the other or change the heights of the rows you might need to adjust this code.

<table class = "fixedColumns">
    <tr><td> row 1 </td></tr>
    <tr><td> row 2 </td></tr>
</table>
<table class = "scrollableTable">
    <tr><td> col 1 </td> <td> col 2 </td><td> col 3 </td><td> col 4 </td></tr>
    <tr><td> col 1 </td> <td> col 2 </td><td> col 3 </td><td> col 4 </td></tr>
</table>

<style type = "text/css" >
    .fixedColumns
    {
        vertical-align:top;
        display: inline-block;
    }
    .scrollableTable
    {
        display: inline-block;
        width:50px;
        white-space: nowrap;
        overflow-x: scroll;
    }
</style>
0 votes
answered Aug 25, 2013 by jonathan

I took Earmon Nerbonne's answer and edited it to work with tables that fill the whole width.

http://jsfiddle.net/DYgD6/6/

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html><head><title>testdoc</title>
<style type="text/css">
            body {
        font:16px Calibri;
    }
    table {
        border-collapse:separate;
        border-top: 3px solid grey;
    }
    td {
        margin:0;
        border:3px solid grey;
        border-top-width:0px;
        white-space:nowrap;
    }
    #outerdiv {
        position: absolute;
        top: 0;
        left: 0;
        right: 5em;
    }
    #innerdiv {
        width: 100%;
        overflow-x:scroll;
        margin-left: 5em;
        overflow-y:visible;
        padding-bottom:1px;
    }
    .headcol {
        position:absolute;
        width:5em;
        left:0;
        top:auto;
        border-right: 0px none black;
        border-top-width:3px;
        /*only relevant for first row*/
        margin-top:-3px;
        /*compensate for top border*/
    }
    .headcol:before {
        content:'Row ';
    }
    .long {
        background:yellow;
        letter-spacing:1em;
    }
</style></head><body>
  <div id="outerdiv">
   <div id="innerdiv">
    <table>
        <tr>
            <td class="headcol">1</td>
            <td class="long">QWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM</td>
            <td class="long">QWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM</td>
        </tr>
        <tr>
            <td class="headcol">2</td>
            <td class="long">QWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM</td>
            <td class="long">QWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM</td>
        </tr>
        <tr>
            <td class="headcol">3</td>
            <td class="long">QWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM</td>
            <td class="long">QWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM</td>
        </tr>
        <tr>
            <td class="headcol">4</td>
            <td class="long">QWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM</td>
            <td class="long">QWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM</td>
        </tr>
        <tr>
            <td class="headcol">5</td>
            <td class="long">QWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM</td>
            <td class="long">QWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM</td>
        </tr>
        <tr>
            <td class="headcol">6</td>
            <td class="long">QWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM</td>
            <td class="long">QWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM</td>
        </tr>
        <tr>
            <td class="headcol">7</td>
            <td class="long">QWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM</td>
            <td class="long">QWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM</td>
        </tr>
        <tr>
            <td class="headcol">8</td>
            <td class="long">QWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM</td>
            <td class="long">QWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM</td>
        </tr>
        <tr>
            <td class="headcol">9</td>
            <td class="long">QWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM</td>
            <td class="long">QWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM</td>
        </tr>
    </table>
</div></div>
</body></html>

The width of the fixed column still needs to be a set value though.

0 votes
answered Aug 6, 2014 by adam-grant

FWIW, here is a table that is scrollable with the head and side fixed.

http://codepen.io/ajkochanowicz/pen/KHdih

0 votes
answered Aug 19, 2014 by pradep
//If the table has tbody and thead, make them the relative container in which we can fix td and th as absolute

table tbody {
    position: relative;
}

table thead {
    position: relative;
}

//Make both the first header and first data cells (First column) absolute so that it sticks to the left

table td:first-of-type {
    position: absolute;
}

table th:first-of-type {
    position: absolute;
}

//Move Second column according to the width of column 1 

table td:nth-of-type(2) {
    padding-left: <Width of column 1>;
}

table th:nth-of-type(2) {
    padding-left: <Width of column 1>;
}
0 votes
answered Aug 25, 2014 by wu-yang-michael

Eamon Nerbonne, I changed some css in your code and it's better now(the scroll bar starts from the first row)

http://jsfiddle.net/At8L8/

I just add two line :

.div : padding-left:5em;
.headcol : background-color : #fff;
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