I have a datagrid with many columns that I want to be able to edit in place. Some of the values in the table are hyperlinks. I want to be able to follow the hyperlinks and also edit them. The row length of the table is variable and may sometimes flow off-screen.

My first instinct is to freeze the header and the left side of the grid such that, no matter how you scroll, the header and left side of the grid are always visible. This would allow me to use an "edit" icon of some sort in one of those locations. Thus, the default actions of clicking on values in the grid would prevail until you click the edit icon.

Is there a simpler way to handle this? How would you handle it?

1 Answer 1


What kind of platform is this for?

If it is a touchscreen, you can differenciate click/edit with touch/long-touch.

If you can access the context menu (right click) options, you can put an "edit" option.

Or if you can access key shortcuts you can differentiate between click and command+click (ctrl+click).

This last one can be implemented in a browser, but you should make it evident with a tooltip or changing the appearance when pressing the key.

Another option is adding an edit icon next to the link when you hover it, so when you click the icon you can edit the link.

  • The first option seems to me to have a downside in that a single-click/ touch has a more drastic action (of loading a page reference by the link) than double-click/ long-touch (enter edit mode, which really is harmless). This looks rather counterintuitive to me.
    – Kris
    Dec 11, 2011 at 9:41
  • The default action of a click/touch to activate the hyperlink should remain in place, following the principle of least surprise. If there were no hyperlinks, I would use the click/touch to make a row (or single attribute) of data editable. Double-clicking/double-tapping is another possible option since spreadsheet software usually goes this way. I'm not a fan of touch-and-hold to reveal actions as it's less intuitive, but it's worth considering.
    – Harry Love
    Dec 11, 2011 at 21:01
  • 1
    @Kris it depends on what is the main purpose of the display. If it is intended primarily to display links, then clicking to open them is the natural behaviour. If it is intended to edit links, then clicking them should edit, and a secondary action open them. In this case, the long-touch action is a well known paradigm for Android users. Maybe not so for iOS users. Each platform (Android, iOS, browser, Windows, Mac OS, etc.) has it's own paradigms, hence the importance of defining for which platform is this developed for. Dec 12, 2011 at 10:47
  • @NaoiseGolden: Factors: basic purpose (provide links/ facilitate editing links/ ...); platform; ... . Thanks, very helpful insight.
    – Kris
    Dec 12, 2011 at 11:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.