Better sort of strings containing accented characters (diacritical marks)

  • Author: David Konrad

This plug-in will provide diacritics neutral sorting of strings.

When having columns with strings using special letters from nordic, slavic, finnish, celtic, roman, greek, german, turkish (etc) languages you will often find the default sorting unsatisfactory. Language specific characters have high ASCII values and is therefore typically sorted to the bottom alphabetically. For example will the hungarian word árvíztűrő be sorted after Z, even though you might want it to be sorted along with A.


This plug-in can be obtained and used in multiple different ways.


This plug-in is available on the DataTables CDN:


The plug-in will then automatically register itself against a global DataTables instance. This file can also be used if you are using an AMD loader such as Require.js.

Note that if you are using multiple plug-ins, it can be beneficial in terms of performance to combine the plug-ins into a single file and host it on your own server, rather than making multiple requests to the DataTables CDN.


The plug-ins are all available on NPM (which can also be used with Yarn or any other Javascript package manager) as part of the datatables.net-plugins package. To use this plug-in, first install the plug-ins package:

npm install datatables.net-plugins

ES modules

Then, if you are using ES modules, import datatables.net, any other DataTables extensions you need, and the plug-in:

import DataTable from 'datatables.net';
import 'datatables.net-plugins/sorting/diacritics-sort.mjs';


If you are using a CommonJS loader for Node (e.g. with older versions of Webpack, or non-module Node code) use the following method to require the plug-in:

var $ = require('jquery');
var DataTable = require('datatables.net');


$('#example').DataTable( {
    columnDefs: [
      { targets: 0, type: 'diacritics-neutralise' }
  } );

You can customise the plug-in to "natural" sort certain letters by using

jQuery.fn.DataTable.ext.type.search.allowDiacritics( array );

For example you would like to be able filter the nordic letters æ, ø, å :

jQuery.fn.DataTable.ext.type.search.allowDiacritics( ['æ', 'ø', 'å' ] );

Version control

If you have any ideas for how this plug-in can be improved, or spot anything that is in error, it is available on GitHub and pull requests are very welcome!