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jQuery for Web Designers: Alternating Table Colors with Third Color for Hover / Mouseover

Updated on July 5, 2011

Did you ever create a table in HTML and found yourself needing to let the web site visitor know which table row they selected? How about the tedious task of having to change the class name for each row for every other <TR> tab that references a different background color in your CSS? It does get confusing.

I have written a simple jQuery program that I would like to share with you that will solve this issue. It performs these tasks for you automatically:

  • Relieves you of the task of alternating your CSS class in your table rows.
  • Allows you to specify a third color for a mouseover.
  • You can plug this code right into your HTML.

Table of Contents For This Hub:

  1. Your Table HTML
  2. Explanation of the table HTML
  3. The jQuery
  4. Explanation of the jQuery
  5. Putting it all together
  6. Conclusion

Your Table HTML

<table>
<tr class='myTableRow' style=\"height:100px; \">

<td valign='top' style='padding-top:5px; text-align:right; width:95px; text-align:center; font-size:10pt; font-family:arial;'>
Table Data
</td>
<td valign='top' style='padding-top:5px; width:360px; text-align:left; font-size:10pt; font-family:arial;'>
Table Data
</td>
<td valign='top' style='padding-top:5px; width:160px; text-align:left; font-size:10pt; font-family:arial;'>
Table Data
</td>
</tr>
<tr class='myTableRow' style=\"height:100px; \">

<td valign='top' style='padding-top:5px; text-align:right; width:95px; text-align:center; font-size:10pt; font-family:arial;'>
Table Data
</td>
<td valign='top' style='padding-top:5px; width:360px; text-align:left; font-size:10pt; font-family:arial;'>
Table Data
</td>
<td valign='top' style='padding-top:5px; width:160px; text-align:left; font-size:10pt; font-family:arial;'>
Table Data
</td>
</tr>
<tr class='myTableRow' style=\"height:100px; \">

<td valign='top' style='padding-top:5px; text-align:right; width:95px; text-align:center; font-size:10pt; font-family:arial;'>
Table Data
</td>
<td valign='top' style='padding-top:5px; width:360px; text-align:left; font-size:10pt; font-family:arial;'>
Table Data
</td>
<td valign='top' style='padding-top:5px; width:160px; text-align:left; font-size:10pt; font-family:arial;'>
Table Data
</td>
</tr>
</table>

That is a regular HTML table. Nothing special. It has 3 rows with 3 columns per row.

Notice that I added a class name called "myTableRow" to each <TR> tag. We will use that in our jQuery to access those rows. You can name this anything you want.

Now for the jQuery

<script type="text/javascript" src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.6.1/jquery.min.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript" >
$(document).ready(function()
{

	var row_index;
	var bg_odd = "#92cbf4";
	var bg_even = "#62b4f0";
	var bg_hover = "#b3dbf7";

	$('.myTableRow:odd').css('background',bg_odd);
	$('.myTableRow:even').css('background',bg_even);
	$('.myTableRow').hover(
		
	function()
	{
		$(this).css('background',bg_hover);
	},
	function()
	{
		row_index = $(this).index();
		if(row_index % 2==0)
		{
			$(this).css('background',bg_odd);
		} else {
			$(this).css('background',bg_even);
		}
	}
		
	
	);
});
</script>

An Explanation of the jQuery:

Line #
Explanation Of Code
Line 6
I created a variable called row_index which will be used to determine the number of the row. jQuery will use this to determine if the row is odd or even.
Lines 7 to 9
My color variables. They will be used to change the background colors of each row.
Lines 11 and 12
These are the core jQuery that will change the background colors for each row automatically. We use the :odd and :even filters with the css function to change the background colors.
Line 13
Starts the hover code which will fire when your website visitor moves his/her mouse over the table row.
Line 17
Changes the background color using the css function on the mouseover event. Notice that this is wrapped in an anonymous function..
Lines 21 to 27
This code will put the original background color back to the current row. This code is also wrapped in an anonymous function..

Putting it all together. The complete HTML and jQuery Code:

<html>
<head>
<title></title>
<style type="text/css">
.notice {
	font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
	text-align: center;
	font-weight: bold;
}
</style>

<script type="text/javascript" src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.6.1/jquery.min.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript" >
$(document).ready(function()
{

	var row_index;
	var bg_odd = "#92cbf4";
	var bg_even = "#62b4f0";
	var bg_hover = "#b3dbf7";

	$('.myTableRow:odd').css('background',bg_odd);
	$('.myTableRow:even').css('background',bg_even);
	$('.myTableRow').hover(
		
	function()
	{
		$(this).css('background',bg_hover);
	},
	function()
	{
		row_index = $(this).index();
		if(row_index % 2==0)
		{
			$(this).css('background',bg_odd);
		} else {
			$(this).css('background',bg_even);
		}
	}
		
	
	);
});
</script>


</head>

<body>
<table>
<tr class='myTableRow' style=\"height:100px; \">

<td valign='top' style='padding-top:5px; text-align:right; width:95px; text-align:center; font-size:10pt; font-family:arial;'>
Table Data
</td>
<td valign='top' style='padding-top:5px; width:360px; text-align:left; font-size:10pt; font-family:arial;'>
Table Data
</td>
<td valign='top' style='padding-top:5px; width:160px; text-align:left; font-size:10pt; font-family:arial;'>
Table Data
</td>
</tr>
<tr class='myTableRow' style=\"height:100px; \">

<td valign='top' style='padding-top:5px; text-align:right; width:95px; text-align:center; font-size:10pt; font-family:arial;'>
Table Data
</td>
<td valign='top' style='padding-top:5px; width:360px; text-align:left; font-size:10pt; font-family:arial;'>
Table Data
</td>
<td valign='top' style='padding-top:5px; width:160px; text-align:left; font-size:10pt; font-family:arial;'>
Table Data
</td>
</tr>
<tr class='myTableRow' style=\"height:100px; \">

<td valign='top' style='padding-top:5px; text-align:right; width:95px; text-align:center; font-size:10pt; font-family:arial;'>
Table Data
</td>
<td valign='top' style='padding-top:5px; width:360px; text-align:left; font-size:10pt; font-family:arial;'>
Table Data
</td>
<td valign='top' style='padding-top:5px; width:160px; text-align:left; font-size:10pt; font-family:arial;'>
Table Data
</td>
</tr>
</table>
</body>
</html>

Conclusion

Simply copy and paste this code from the Putting It All Together section into a regular web page editor and it will work. I checked it just to make sure.

This code will allow you to alternate your table rows just by cutting an pasting the code above. Remember to change the background colors in lines 7, 8 , and 9 so you can have them alternate to your desired colors.

That's It. Let me know if you have any questions about this jQuery code.

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