Last updated August 23, 2010. Created on January 1, 2008.
Edited by NancyDru, Jody Lynn, Barrett, add1sun. Log in to edit this page.

I found a snippet that displayed all the data in a database table and I liked it, but it was "dirty" code and needed to be fixed up. Meanwhile there was another post about creating a sortable table of data. I thought it might be nice to merge these two ideas.

I really like what I came up with. As a matter of fact, I liked it so much I added it to the Site Documentation module, so anyone can have it without doing any coding or even snippet pasting.

This code takes a table name from the function call and creates a nice little displayable table of the data in that table. The columns are labeled with the column name and displayed table is sortable by clicking in the header.

I created and tested this on Drupal 5.5 and MySql 5.0, but I don't see anything here that is really release-specific or database-dependent.

echo show_table('blocks', 50);


show_table($table = NULL, $rows_per_page = 20) {
  if (!
$table || !db_table_exists($table)) {
drupal_set_message(t('You must supply a valid database table name.'), 'error');


// We get the first (or only) part of the Primary key to be added to the sort sequence.
$result = db_query("SHOW INDEX FROM {$table}");
$x = db_fetch_array($result);
  if (
$x === FALSE) {
drupal_set_message(t("The '@table' table has no index defined. This is probably normal.", array('@table' => $table)), 'notice');
$first_key = NULL;
  else {
$first_key = $x['Column_name'];


drupal_set_title(t('@table Table Contents', array('@table' => ucwords($table))));
$output = '<p>'. t('Click on a column title to sort by that column.') .'</p><br/>';
$rows = array();


// Now we get the column names from the table and build the header.
$header = array();
$result = db_query("SHOW COLUMNS FROM {$table}");

  while (

$col_desc = db_fetch_array($result)) {
$header[] = array(
'data' => ucwords(str_replace('_', ' ', $col_desc['Field'])),
'field' => '`'. $col_desc['Field'] .'`',
// Get the data rows from the table.
$select = "SELECT * FROM {$table}";
// Set it up so that the user can sort on any column, but the primary key will always be the last value to sort on.
$select .= tablesort_sql($header) . ($first_key ? (', '. $first_key .' ASC') : NULL);
// Do the query so that we can page the data.
$result = pager_query($select, $rows_per_page);

  while (

$row = db_fetch_array($result)) {
$line = array();
    foreach (
$row as $key => $value) {
// We use check_markup to apply our filters.
$line[] = check_markup($value, FILTER_FORMAT_DEFAULT,TRUE);
$rows[] = $line;


// Build the displayable table.
$output .= theme('table', $header, $rows);
$output .= theme('pager', $rows_per_page);

You may put this into a PHP format page or include it into a custom module.

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