DEV Community

Cover image for Angular: MatPaginator Custom Styling
Eduard Krivanek
Eduard Krivanek

Posted on

Angular: MatPaginator Custom Styling

As a frontend developer you most likely had a task to display data in a table and as an Angular frontend developer, you probably picked Angular Material to do so.

In my previous article Angular: Infinite Scrolling I mentioned how you can infinite table scrolling starting with a initial few elements, however despite it is a good UX solution, sometimes we have to go with the traditional pagination.

When you search for MatPaginator you find your solution, however, one thing to note … Angular’s pagination doesn’t look appealing at all. Wouldn't it be nice if we could keep its navigation, but change its visuals into something else?

The Goal

In the following article we will walk step-by-step how we can implement a custom directive and attach it to the mat-paginator which will completly change its UI to the example below.

The whole source code is available on StackBlitz.

Image description

We will create a directive called appBubblePagination, which will leverage the power of Renderer2 to create custom UI elements replacing the default pagination layout, and the directive usage will be as follows:

<table mat-table [dataSource]="dataSource" [trackBy]="identity">
        <!-- table content -->

Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Step 1.) Create a Directive

To achieve the goal of changing the visual aspect of the mat-pagination, we create a directive and import the following dependencies.

  selector: '[appBubblePagination]',
  standalone: true,
export class BubblePaginationDirective {
    @Host() @Self() @Optional() private readonly matPag: MatPaginator,
    private elementRef: ElementRef,
    private ren: Renderer2
  ) {}
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

The dependencies are used as follows:

  • MatPaginator - is the reference to the attached mat-paginator. It will be used to manually change the pagination index by clicking on custom bubbles.
  • ElementRef - is the reference to the DOM elements (mat-paginator) to which the directive is attached. It will be used to get the reference where to render additional HTML elements. Read more on Angular docs.
  • Renderer2 - allows to render HTML elements, add/remove css classes and attach listeners (click, hover). Read more on Angular docs.

Step 2.) Modify Default Layout

Next, we want to slightly change the visual aspect of the default pagination. Below is the illustration of the starting and ending state.

Image description

The changes include:

  • Removing “items per page” text
  • Put the current pagination number (1-20) to right and modify its visuals

With the dependencies ElementRef and Renderer2, we modify the layout as follows:

export class BubblePaginationDirective implements AfterViewInit {

  ngAfterViewInit(): void {

  private styleDefaultPagination() {
    const nativeElement = this.elementRef.nativeElement;

    const itemsPerPage = nativeElement.querySelector(
    const howManyDisplayedEl = nativeElement.querySelector(

    // remove 'items per page', 'display', 'none');

    // style text of how many elements are currently displayed, 'position', 'absolute');, 'left', '0');, 'color', '#919191');, 'font-size', '14px');
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Step 3.) Insert a DIV between Navigation Button

Upon inspecting the HTML element we see that there is a mat-mdc-paginator-range-actions class attached to a div wrapper element. We want to target this div and insert a new div element between the left and right arrow buttons. It will be used as a place where to generate the custom bubble pagination buttons.

Image description

ngAfterViewInit(): void {

private createBubbleDivRef(): void {
    const actionContainer = this.elementRef.nativeElement.querySelector(
    const nextButtonDefault = this.elementRef.nativeElement.querySelector(

    // create a HTML element where all bubbles will be rendered
    this.bubbleContainerRef ='div') as HTMLElement;, 'g-bubble-container');

    // render element before the 'next button' is displayed
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

We get the reference to the div wrapper element by actionContainer, however we also need the nextButtonDefault in order to properly attach our div element into DOM, where the buttons will be rendered. We also save this reference into bubbleContainerRef.

Using the we attach the div element inside the mat-mdc-paginator-range-actions class, putting the div element before the pagination’s next button.

If we were used, this.bubbleContainerRef); the end result would be rendered buttons after the arrow navigation.

Image description

Step 4.) Render Buttons to the DOM

In the fourth step, we want to render the first and the last button and add dots between them and the rest of the buttons. Even if we render everything the this example, what you will see that initially every element is set to display: none, where on the next step we will reveal only the necessary items.

Image description

export class BubblePaginationDirective implements AfterViewInit {
   * how many elements are in the table
  @Input() appCustomLength: number = 0;

  ngAfterViewInit(): void {

    // .... previous code

   * end result: (1) .... (4) (5) (6) ... (25)
  private buildButtons(): void {
    const neededButtons = Math.ceil(
      this.appCustomLength / this.matPag.pageSize

    // if there is only one page, do not render buttons
    if (neededButtons === 1) {, 'display', 'none');

    // create first button
    this.buttonsRef = [this.createButton(0)];

    // add dots (....) to UI
    this.dotsStartRef = this.createDotsElement();

    // create all buttons needed for navigation (except the first & last one)
    for (let index = 1; index < neededButtons - 1; index++) {
      this.buttonsRef = [...this.buttonsRef, this.createButton(index)];

    // add dots (....) to UI
    this.dotsEndRef = this.createDotsElement();

    // create last button to UI after the dots (....)
    this.buttonsRef = [
      this.createButton(neededButtons - 1),

   * create button HTML element
  private createButton(i: number): HTMLElement {
    const bubbleButton ='div');
    const text = + 1));

    // add class & text, 'g-bubble');, 'margin-right', '8px');, text);

    // react on click, 'click', () => {

    // render on UI, bubbleButton);

    // set style to hidden by default, 'display', 'none');

    return bubbleButton;

   * Helper function to switch page
  private switchPage(i: number): void {
    const previousPageIndex = this.matPag.pageIndex;
    this.matPag.pageIndex = i;
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Let’s recap what’s going on.

Function buildButtons():

  • calculate how many pagination buttons to render by neededButtons as it is the total amount of the elements in the table (appCustomLength) divided by the pagination size.
  • If elements in table are fewer than pagination size, we don’t render anything
  • If there is more items in table (neededButtons > 1) we:
    • render the first button
    • render dots
    • render the remaining buttons except the last one
    • render dots
    • render the last button
  • save the buttons from createButton() into buttonsRef array, as they will be needed later

Function createButton():

  • receives an index, increments it by one and attach this values as a text value to the button with some additional CSS classes
  • every buttons is hidden from the DOM, set by, 'display', 'none');. On later step we display/hide some of them as user navigates by clicking on them.
  • by attaching the click event listener on each button, 'click' ...), we call the helper function switchPage() to change the current page.

From the above example the createDotsElement() is not present, as it is a renderer function similar to createButton() and we also create some CSS classes like g-bubble for styling.

Side-Note: In switchPage() I am not necessarily sure why with _emitPageEvent needs to emit the previousPageIndex. I wasn’t able to find an answer for it, but it works.

Step 5.) Listen on User Navigation Clicks

As the last step we want to implement the logic that will listen to the user clicks on bubble buttons and change the active index with styling.

At this moment all the buttons are hidden and their reference is kept in buttonsRef. We want to display only the first 2-3 buttons and as the user navigates to either direction, we want to display additional 2 buttons to right and left, and also the dots between the first and the last buttons if the user is in the middle of the navigation.

export class BubblePaginationDirective implements AfterViewInit {

    private buttonsRef: HTMLElement[] = [];

    // .... previous code

    ngAfterViewInit(): void {
      map((e) => [e.previousPageIndex ?? 0, e.pageIndex]),
      startWith([0, 0])
    .subscribe(([prev, curr]) => {
      this.changeActiveButtonStyles(prev, curr);

    // .... previous code

    private changeActiveButtonStyles(previousIndex: number, newIndex: number) {
    const previouslyActive = this.buttonsRef[previousIndex];
    const currentActive = this.buttonsRef[newIndex];

    // remove active style from previously active button, 'g-bubble__active');

    // add active style to new active button, 'g-bubble__active');

    // hide all buttons
    this.buttonsRef.forEach((button) =>, 'display', 'none')

    // show 2 previous buttons and 2 next buttons
    const renderElements = 2;
    const endDots = newIndex < this.buttonsRef.length - renderElements - 1;
    const startDots = newIndex - renderElements > 0;

    const firstButton = this.buttonsRef[0];
    const lastButton = this.buttonsRef[this.buttonsRef.length - 1];

    // last bubble and dots, 'display', endDots ? 'block' : 'none');, 'display', endDots ? 'flex' : 'none');

    // first bubble and dots
      startDots ? 'block' : 'none'
    );, 'display', startDots ? 'flex' : 'none');

        // resolve starting and ending index to show buttons
    const startingIndex = startDots ? newIndex - renderElements : 0;
    const endingIndex = endDots
      ? newIndex + renderElements
      : this.buttonsRef.length - 1;

    // display starting buttons
    for (let i = startingIndex; i <= endingIndex; i++) {
      const button = this.buttonsRef[i];, 'display', 'flex');
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Looks scary right 😓 ? No need to worry tho. Let’s walk thought each step what is happening in this function, help you to understand this nonsense to be able to change it later 🤗.

First, we want to subscribe to the []( observable and get the previous and new clicked pagination index. The observable is triggered by each bubble button click, because in the previous step we attach switchPage() function to each bubble.

In changeActiveButtonStyles() the following happens:

  • we swap the g-bubble__active from the previous active bubble into the new one, which highlight the current active button, by the provided new indexes to the function
  • by default hide all buttons (display: none)
  • determine whether to show end dots and the last button by endDots, if newIndex is not the last 2 buttons
  • determine whether to show start dots on the beginning with the first button by startDots, if newIndex more than 2
  • calculate the indexes to show buttons from the buttonsRef, to show 2 previous buttons (startingIndex) and 2 next buttons (endingIndex)
  • change the display value for buttons that needs to be visible


This blog post outlines how to modify the styling of Angular Material's MatPaginator component to create a custom pagination UI. The post walks through creating a custom directive, modifying the default layout, inserting a div between navigation buttons, rendering buttons to the DOM, and listening for user navigation clicks.

The end result is a custom pagination UI with bubble buttons and dots between the first and last buttons. The whole source code to this example is available on StackBlitz.

I hope you liked the post, give it a heart and you connect with me on: | LinkedIn | Personal Website | Github

Top comments (4)

ccolon13 profile image
ccolon13 • Edited

Is there a way to add pageSizeOptions dropdown as part of this custom styling solution?

Like is done by default using mat-paginator.

Image description

Also is there a way to default the number of navigation shown?

Such as I only want to show say 3 buttons at a time regardless of how many pages there are. That way the navigation arrows don't move when navigating.

Image description

krivanek06 profile image
Eduard Krivanek • Edited

Hey @ccolon13 . About the second part to only displaying N buttons and fist/last button optional I added 3 new inputs to the Stackblitz example.

  • @Input() showFirstButton = true - will show the first button if you are in the middle of the navigation
  • @Input() showLastButton = true - will show the last button if you are in the middle of the navigation
  • @Input() renderButtonsNumber = 2 - you can adjust how many button you want to have visible before & after the selected button.

About the first part, I wasn't able to come up with an answer, but if you manage to do it, feel free to post your answer :)

froud profile image

Hello, I found a response for the first part :

  • add on the directive : @Input() pageSizeCustomValue = DEFAULT_PAGE_SIZE;
  • on the ngOnChanges of the directive, replace by
    if (!changes?.['appCustomLength']?.firstChange || !changes?.['pageSizeCustomValue']?.firstChange)

  • on the HTML : add (page)="changePagination($event)" and [pageSizeCustomValue]="pageSize" :
    [attr.aria-label]="'' | translate"

  • on the TS :
    pageSize = DEFAULT_PAGE_SIZE;
    changePagination(event: any) {
    this.pageSize = this.paginator.pageSize;

bollerdominik profile image
Dominik Boller

Nice post. Unfortunately the custom navigation does not work with the mat-paginator pageIndex. I am using query parameters to navigate the different pages and I set the current page through pageIndex. appBubblePagination is unable to correctly set the current page based on pageIndex. Is there any way to support that?