How to make an ASP.NET Table row highlight and become clickable

4.7 (10 votes)

For those people who like to output their data to an asp:Table, highlighting the entire row and making it clickable can make it obvious to the user that some action is expected from them. This emulates the behaviour that can be found in some desktop applications. All that's needed for this is a bit of javascript, and the use of AddAttributes() for the table rows.

You will also need to get round the limitation of the fact that the <a> tag is not allowed around a table row, so here are the two javascript functions that perform the magic:

function highlight(tableRow, active)
if (active)
{ = '#cfc';
{ = '#fff';

function link(Url)
document.location.href = Url;

And here's the method that adds the javascript to each row of the table as it is rendered:

string connstring = "Provider=Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0;Data Source=";
connstring += Server.MapPath("App_Data/NWind.mdb");
string query = "SELECT [CustomerID], [CompanyName], [ContactName], [Address], [City]";
query += " FROM [Customers]";
OleDbConnection conn = new OleDbConnection(connstring);
OleDbDataAdapter da = new OleDbDataAdapter(query, conn);
DataSet ds = new DataSet();
da.Fill(ds, "Employees");
foreach (DataRow dr in ds.Tables[0].Rows)
    TableRow trow = new TableRow();
    foreach (DataColumn dc in ds.Tables[0].Columns)
      TableCell tcell = new TableCell();
      tcell.Controls.Add(new LiteralControl(dr[dc.ColumnName].ToString()));
      trow.Attributes["onmouseover"] = "highlight(this, true);";
      trow.Attributes["onmouseout"] = "highlight(this, false);";
      trow.Attributes["onclick"] = "link('edit.aspx?id=" + dr[0].ToString() + "');";
      HttpResponse myHttpResponse = Response;
      HtmlTextWriter myHtmlTextWriter = new HtmlTextWriter(myHttpResponse.Output);

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- James Piette

I recently implemented similar functionality on a site I'm building using ASP MVC. I was able to do this using CSS and jquery. I also was using an AJAX call to have a table in a left division post the data to the rightDiv (division with id="divRight".

After including jquery, put this script on the top of the page.
<script type="text/javascript">
function linkfunc(url) {

Then declare the <tr> tag as follows. (replace the stuff in [] to match your controller call.)
tr class="highlight" onclick="linkfunc('<%= Url.Action("[controlleraction]", "[controllername]", new{/**/})%>');">

To have highlighting work, declare this in the .css file

- Mike


Since I wrote this article over 3 years ago, I have been using jQuery too.

- Mindaugas Matulis

There is a much easier way to do this without javascript. Just when you create Table Row items you can simply change colore on attribute name like in previous example:

trow.Attributes["onmouseover"] = "this.bgColor = '#DCEAF3'";
trow.Attributes["onmouseout"] = "this.bgColor = '#FFFFFF'";

- Mike

@Mindaugas Matulis

Thanks, but you are still using Javascript.

This article is very old. I'd recommend managing this via jQuery or similar these days anyway.

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