I'd like to know how to edit an existing column in the orders grid.

For example, I've added my own columns using an observer by joining the sales_flat_order_grid table with the sales_flat_order table to get the fields I need. However, if I try to filter based on the increment_id, then the filter fails because it is coming across an ambiguous field since both tables have that same field.

I'm trying to add a "filter_index" with the value "main_table.increment_id" to that column. So I'm able to use an event observer to grab the block based on the "core_block_abstract_to_html_after" event but I think this event is fired too late for the filter to actually be set. Also, I tried the "core_block_abstract_prepare_layout_before" event but the column doesn't exist at that point.

What other event can I use?

Note: I've tried rewriting the sales grid with my own and I'm able to get this working via the following code in the _prepareColumns() method but I'm trying to do it via the observer since that won't conflict with any other extensions:

protected function _prepareColumns()

    $this->addColumnAfter('custom_column', array(
    ), 'shipping_name');

        ->setData('filter_index', 'main_table.increment_id');



  • Try overriding the Mage_Adminhtml_Block_Sales_Order_Grid.php
    – Sukeshini
    Mar 27, 2014 at 4:05

1 Answer 1


Sadly there are no events fired that would work on all the grid options, such as export and normal display. As _prepareColumns is called from _prepareGrid which is called from a multitude of places.

protected function _prepareGrid()
    return $this;

What I would suggest is rewrite the class Mage_Adminhtml_Block_Sales_Order_Grid and fire your own event before and after the call to the parent _prepareColumns. This way if you do have some conflicts in the future you should be able to hook onto these events and solve your conflicts easily. A good example of this, though it is not columns but tabs, is the event adminhtml_catalog_category_tabs.

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