When you think ASP, think...
Recent Articles
All Articles
ASP.NET Articles
Message Board
Related Web Technologies
User Tips!
Coding Tips

Sample Chapters
Commonly Asked Message Board Questions
JavaScript Tutorials
MSDN Communities Hub
Official Docs
Stump the SQL Guru!
XML Info
Author an Article
ASP ASP.NET ASP FAQs Message Board Feedback

The 4 Guys Present: ASPFAQs.com

Jump to a FAQ
Enter FAQ #:
..or see our 10 Most Viewed FAQs.

4GuysFromRolla.com : ASP FAQS : Arrays


How can I sort a VB Script array in ways other than by case-sensitive alphanumeric order, like numeric value, length of string, or even randomly?

[Print this FAQ]

Answer: The sort() method of the JScript array can sort an array in a user-defined way, with a little work. (See this: How can I quickly sort a VBScript array? for further explanation of how the JScript array's sort method is integrated with VBScript arrays.)

In order to sort an array in customized ways, you first have to implement the sort() method of the JScript array in VBScript. Because JScript and VBScript arrays are not directly interchangeable, the two functions below take a VBScript array and pass it to JScript to do the sorting, then pass it back to VBScript.

<script language=JScript runat=server>
    function SortVBArray(arrVBArray) {
        return arrVBArray.toArray().sort().join('\b');

Function SortArray(arrInput)
SortArray = Split(SortVBArray(arrInput), Chr(8))
End Function

So now a VBScript array, when passed to the SortArray function, will be sorted in case-sensitive alphanumeric order. Sorting in a custom way works like this: The sort() method takes one parameter which must be a JScript function: sort(MyCustomSortFunction). The JScript function (MyCustomSortFunction) must be set up to take two parameters, compare them and return 1 if the first parameter should come after the second parameter in the sort, -1 if the first should come before the second and 0 if they are equal.

Here's an example of a custom sort function:

function SortByLength(a, b) {
    if (a.length > b.length) {
        return 1;    // a is longer
    else {
        if (a.length < b.length) {
            return -1; // a is shorter
        else {
            return 0; // same size

// The below returns -1, meaning that PC is a shorter
// word and comes before Mac on the list:
Response.Write(SortByLength("PC", "Mac"));

When this function is passed to the sort() method, the sort method uses the function passed to do the sort instead of it's own internal method (case sensitive alphanumeric). Making the below change sorts by length of the elements (assuming all can be evaluated as strings).

<script language=JScript runat=server>
function SortVBArray(arrVBArray) {
    return arrVBArray.toArray().sort(SortByLength).join('\b');

Here are some pre-written functions for sorting you can plug into your application just pass the function name to the sort(MyFunction) method.

<script language=JScript runat=server>
// Sorts records in pseudo-random order
function sRandom() {
    return ((Math.random()>=0.5) ? 1 : -1);

// Sorts records in ascending, case-insensitive
// alpha-numeric order.
function sNoCaseAsc(a, b) {
    return ((a.toUpperCase()>b.toUpperCase()) ? 1 : ((a.toUpperCase()<b.toUpperCase()) ? -1 : 0));

// Sorts records in descending, case-insensitive
// alpha-numeric order.
function sNoCaseDsc(a, b) {
    return ((a.toUpperCase()>b.toUpperCase()) ? -1 : ((a.toUpperCase()<b.toUpperCase()) ? 1 : 0));

// Sorts records in ascending
// numeric value order
function sNumAsc(a, b) {
    return ((+a > +b) ? 1 : ((+a < +b) ? -1 : 0));

// Sorts records in descending
// numeric value order
function sNumDsc(a, b) {
    return ((+a > +b) ? -1 : ((+a < +b) ? 1 : 0));

// Sort records in ascending
// string length order
function sLenAsc(a, b) {
    return ((('' + a).length > ('' + b).length) ? 1 : ((('' + a).length < ('' + b).length) ? -1 : 0));

// Sort records in descending
// string length order
function sLenDsc(a, b) {
    return ((('' + a).length > ('' + b).length) ? -1 : ((('' + a).length < ('' + b).length) ? 1 : 0));

Happy Programming!

FAQ posted by Richard Lowe at 11/22/2000 12:41:40 AM to the Arrays category. This FAQ has been viewed 105,385 times.

Do you have a FAQ you'd like to suggest? Suggestions? Comments? If so, send it in! Also, if you'd like to be a FAQ Admin (creating/editing FAQs), let me know! If you are looking for other FAQs, be sure to check out the 4Guys FAQ and Commonly Asked Messageboard Questions!

Most Viewed FAQs:

1.) How can I format numbers and date/times using ASP.NET? For example, I want to format a number as a currency. (761643 views)
2.) I am using Access and getting a 80004005 error (or a [Microsoft][ODBC Microsoft Access Driver] The Microsoft Jet database engine cannot open the file '(unknown)' error) when trying to open a connection! How can I fix this problem? (207777 views)
3.) How can I convert a Recordset into an array? Also, how can I convert an array into a Recordset? (202549 views)
4.) How can I quickly sort a VBScript array? (196039 views)
5.) How can I find out if a record already exists in a database? If it doesn't, I want to add it. (156019 views)
6.) How do I display data on a web page using arrays instead of Do...While...MoveNext...???... (152331 views)
7.) When I get a list of all files in a directory via the FileSystemObject, they aren't ordered in any reasonable way. How can I sort the files by name? Or by size? Or by date created? Or... (140381 views)
8.) For session variables to work, must the Web visitor have cookies enabled? (110162 views)
9.) Can I send emails without using CDONTS? (107083 views)
10.) How can I take the result of a SELECT...MULTIPLE or a group of same-named checkboxes and turn it into a query? That is, if the user selects 3 answers, how can I construct a query that looks for all 3? (106308 views)
Last computed at 9/17/2007 3:22:00 AM

ASP.NET [1.x] [2.0] | ASPFAQs.com | Advertise | Feedback | Author an Article