Notes

See full details in this blog page.

A summary:

rows().every(), columns().every() and cells().every() - Use when you want to perform an API method on each selected item, but there is a performance penalty.

each() - similar to every() but doesn’t create a new API instance and doesn’t change the callback function’s scope. Lower level.

iterator() - For all other data types that the DataTables API can carry we use the each() to access the data in the instance.

The Table

We assume a simple table containing the following:

It is defined as follows:

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<table id="demo" class="display dataTable cell-border" style="width:100%">
  <thead>
   <tr><th>Column One</th><th>Column Two</th></tr>
  </thead>
  <tbody>
    <tr><td>alfa</td><td class="foo">bravo</td></tr>
    <tr><td class="foo">charlie</td><td>delta</td></tr>
    <tr><td>echo</td><td><b>foxtrot</b></td></tr>
  </tbody>
</table>

The DataTables object is created as follows:

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var table = $('#demo').DataTable({
  "columns": [
    null,
    null
  ]
});

We then have the following various ways of accessing data in this table:

All Cell Data

Iterate all cell data as a JavaScript array of arrays:

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var allData = table.data();
for (var i = 0; i < allData.length; i++) {
  var rowData = allData[i];
  for (var j = 0; j < rowData.length; j++) {
    console.log("row " + (i+1) + " col " + (j+1) + ": " + rowData[j]);
  }
}

Output:

row 1 col 1: alfa
row 1 col 2: bravo
row 2 col 1: charlie
row 2 col 2: delta
row 3 col 1: echo
row 3 col 2: <b>foxtrot</b>

One Cell

Get only one cell - row 3 column 2:

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var oneSelectedCell = table.cell(2, 1);
console.log(oneSelectedCell.data());

Output:

<b>foxtrot</b>

One Node

Get one cell’s <td> node - row 3 column 2:

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var oneSelectedCell = table.cell(2, 1);
console.log(oneSelectedCell.node());

Note that this returns a native DOM element, not a jQuery object.

Using CSS

Get some cells using a css class name:

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var someSelectedCells = table.cells(".foo").data();
for (var i = 0; i < someSelectedCells.length; i++) {
  console.log(someSelectedCells[i]);
}

Output:

bravo
charlie

The every() Function

Get all cells using the ‘every()’ function.

Two variations:

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table.cells().every( function () {
  console.log(this.data());
} );
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table.cells().every( function () {
  console.log(this.node().textContent);
} );

Output:

row 1 col 1: alfa
row 1 col 2: bravo
row 2 col 1: charlie
row 2 col 2: delta
row 3 col 1: echo
row 3 col 2: <b>foxtrot</b>

Every Row

Similar to the above, but returns an array of data for each row:

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table.rows().every( function () {
  console.log(this.data());
} );

Output:

[ "alfa", "bravo" ]
[ "charlie", "delta" ]
[ "echo", "<b>foxtrot</b>" ]

Cell Data - No HTML

Get only one cell without the HTML tags - row 3 column 2:

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var oneSelectedCell = table.cell(2, 1);
var node = oneSelectedCell.node();
console.log(node.textContent);

Output:

foxtrot

One Column

Get column 2’s data:

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var oneSelectedColumn = table.column(1).data();
for (var i = 0; i < oneSelectedColumn.length; i++) {
  console.log(oneSelectedColumn[i]);
}

Output:

bravo
delta
<b>foxtrot</b>

Get column 2’s data via the nodes:

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var oneSelectedColumn = table.column(1).nodes();
for (var i = 0; i < oneSelectedColumn.length; i++) {
  console.log(oneSelectedColumn[i].textContent);
}

Output:

bravo
delta
foxtrot

Row Iterator

Use a ‘row’ iterator to get row 2:

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table.rows(1).iterator( 'row', function ( context, index ) {
  console.log( $( this.row( index ).node() ) );
} );

Column Iterator

Use a ‘column’ iterator to get each column:

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table.columns().iterator( 'column', function ( context, index ) {
  console.log( context );
  console.log( index );
  console.log( $( this.column( index ) ) );
} );

The slice() Function

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table.rows().every( function ( ) {
  var data = this.data();
  // get a subset of the row data, excluding the first cell
  // if the values are stored as strings, map then to numbers
  var values = data.slice(1).map(Number);
  // the ... operator expands the array into values for the
  // max() function to operate on:
  console.log( data[0] + ': ' + Math.max( ...values ) );
} );