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Alex T.
Alex T.

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Creating a Multi-Column Search Feature in a React Data Table

Implementing a multi-column search feature by one text field is essential in some cases. This article will guide you through the process of adding such a feature to a React data table component using the @tanstack/react-table library.

Understanding Multi-Column Search

A multi-column search allows users to type a query into a single search bar and have the table filter its rows based on that query across multiple columns. This means that rather than having separate search fields for each column, users can enter one term and the table will display rows that match this term in any of the specified columns.

Implementing the Multi-Column Search

Step 1: Define the Filter Function

Firstly, we need to define a filter function that will be used to search across multiple columns. This function will concatenate the values of the specified columns and then check if the concatenated string includes the search term.

import { FilterFn } from '@tanstack/react-table';

// Custom filter function for multi-column searching
const multiColumnFilterFn: FilterFn<Restaurant> = (row, columnId, filterValue) => {
  // Concatenate the values from multiple columns into a single string
  const searchableRowContent = `${} ${row.original.type} ${row.original.location} ${row.original.owner}`;

  // Perform a case-insensitive comparison
  return searchableRowContent.toLowerCase().includes(filterValue.toLowerCase());

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Step 2: Integrate the Filter Function into the Column Definition

Next, we integrate this filter function into our column definition for the React Table. In this example, we will apply it to the name column, but the function will actually filter across multiple columns.

  accessorKey: 'name',
  header: ({ column }) => (
    <DataTableColumnHeader column={column} title="Name" />
  cell: ({ row }) => (
    // ... cell rendering code
  filterFn: multiColumnFilterFn,
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By following these steps, you can enhance your React data tables with a multi-column search feature. This not only improves the user experience by making it easier to find relevant data but also streamlines the interface by reducing the clutter of multiple search fields.

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