Grid Overview

The Grid is a powerful control for displaying data in a tabular format.

It provides options for executing data operations, such as paging, sorting, filtering, grouping, and editing, which determine the way the data is presented and manipulated. The Grid supports data binding to local and remote sets of data by using the Kendo UI for jQuery DataSource component.

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The Grid is part of Kendo UI for jQuery, a professional grade UI library with 110+ components for building modern and feature-rich applications. To try it out sign up for a free 30-day trial.

Advance Reading

Because of the numerous functionalities it supports, the Grid is the most complex of the Kendo UI widgets. To gain greater confidence before you start working with it, make sure you get familiar with the following concepts:

  • DataSource—The DataSource is one of the pivotal Kendo UI components. It is an abstraction for using local or remote data and a key concept in understanding how the Grid functions.
  • Remote CRUD operations—The section elaborates on scenarios, in which data is retrieved from and submitted to a remote data service through HTTP requests made by the Kendo UI DataSource.
  • Remote data binding—The article provides information on server filtering, paging, and other features of the Grid.
  • Kendo UI editing functionality—The editing functionality in some Kendo UI widgets, including the Grid, is implemented with a specific editor element or form that is bound to the model by using the Kendo UI MVVM bindings.

Initializing the Grid

To initialize the Grid, use either of the following approaches:

Using an Empty div

When you initialize the Grid from an empty <div> element, all Grid settings are provided in the initialization script statement. This means that you have to describe the layout and configuration of the Grid in JavaScript.

    // Define the HTML div that will contain the Grid.
    <div id="grid"></div>

    // Initialize the Grid.

                columns: [{
                    field: "FirstName",
                    title: "First Name"
                    field: "LastName",
                    title: "Last Name"
                dataSource: {
                    data: [{
                        FirstName: "Joe",
                        LastName: "Smith"
                        FirstName: "Jane",
                        LastName: "Smith"


Using an HTML Table

When you initialize the Grid from an HTML table, some of its settings can be inferred from the table structure and the HTML attributes of the elements. This means that you can describe the layout of the Grid entirely in the HTML of the table. The HTML table is usually already populated with data which improves the accessibility and search engine optimization, and ensures that the user will see data even if JavaScript is disabled or there is a JavaScript error on the page.

When you initialize the Grid from an HTML table, the widget uses a Kendo UI DataSource instance. The content of the cell is extracted and populates the DataSource in the following way:

  1. The names of the data fields in the DataSource are either created from the content of the header cells or from the data-field attributes of the header cells.
  2. The names of the data fields have to be valid JavaScript identifiers. Therefore, it is recommended to use the data-field attributes. Otherwise the cell content of the header has to meet the following requirements:
    • No spaces
    • No special characters
    • The first character has to be a letter

If you create the Grid from an HTML table but the DataSource is configured to use transport and remote operations, a remote request is made for the initial Grid state even though the table might be already populated. This behavior is defined by design and cannot be avoided except when using the MVC wrapper of the Grid.

When the Grid is created from an existing table, the Grid provides the following column settings that can be defined through the HTML attributes. Except for the width column styles, all attributes have to be applied to the <th> elements:

  • The id attributes define the id of the columns.
  • The data-field attributes define the names of the data fields.
  • The width styles when applied to the respective <col> elements set the width of the columns.
  • The data-type attributes define the data types.
  • The data-template attributes set the column templates.
  • The data-menu attributes enable or disable the column menu.
  • The data-sortable attributes enable or disable sorting.
  • The data-filterable attributes enable or disable filtering.
  • The data-groupable attributes enable or disable grouping.
  • The data-index attributes define a zero-based number indicator for the columns.

To associate the aria-describedby attribute of the cells to the corresponding column header in a navigable Kendo UI Grid, define the id and data-index attributes for each <th> element.

It is not possible to define other column-related settings through HTML attributes in the <table>. If you have to use settings, such as commands, locking, editors, custom rows, cell CSS classes, and others, skip the above attribute configuration and include all settings in the JavaScript initialization statement of the Grid. Note that you have to set the column properties through the data-columns attribute when using the declarative widget initialization.

As the previous and the following examples demonstrate, the client object of the Grid is attached to a <div> in the first case and to a <table> in the second case. However, the generated HTML output of the Grid entirely depends on the settings of the widget and it will always be the same regardless of the way the widget is initialized. For the complete example, refer to the demo on initializing the Grid from an HTML table.

    // Define the HTML table with rows, columns, and data.
    <table id="grid">
            <col />
            <col style="width:100px" />
                <th data-field="title" data-filterable="false">Title</th>
                <th data-field="year" data-type="number" data-template="<strong>#=year#</strong>">Year</th>
                <td>Star Wars: A New Hope</td>
                <td>Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back</td>

    // Initialize the Grid.

            sortable: true,
            filterable: true


Functionality and Features

For more information on implementing specific scenarios, refer to the Knowledge Base section.

Referencing Existing Instances

To refer to an existing Grid instance:

  1. Use the method.
  2. Once a reference is established, use the Grid API to control its behavior.

    var grid = $("#grid").data("kendoGrid");

See Also

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