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HTML5 Drag and Drop


Drag and drop is a part of the HTML5 standard.


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Drag and Drop

Drag and drop is a very common feature. It is when you "grab" an object and drag it to a different location.

In HTML5, drag and drop is part of the standard, and any element can be draggable.


Browser Support

Internet Explorer Firefox Opera Google Chrome Safari

Internet Explorer 9+, Firefox, Opera, Chrome, and Safari support drag and drop.

Note: Drag and drop does not work in Safari 5.1.7 and earlier versions.


HTML Drag and Drop Example

The example below is a simple drag and drop example:

Example

<!DOCTYPE HTML>
<html>
<head>
<script>
function allowDrop(ev) {
    ev.preventDefault();
}

function drag(ev) {
    ev.dataTransfer.setData("text/html", ev.target.id);
}

function drop(ev) {
    ev.preventDefault();
    var data = ev.dataTransfer.getData("text/html");
    ev.target.appendChild(document.getElementById(data));
}
</script>
</head>
<body>

<div id="div1" ondrop="drop(event)" ondragover="allowDrop(event)"></div>

<img id="drag1" src="img_logo.gif" draggable="true"
ondragstart="drag(event)" width="336" height="69">

</body>
</html>

Try it yourself »

It might seem complicated, but lets go through all the different parts of a drag and drop event.


Make an Element Draggable

First of all: To make an element draggable, set the draggable attribute to true:

<img draggable="true">


What to Drag - ondragstart and setData()

Then, specify what should happen when the element is dragged.

In the example above, the ondragstart attribute calls a function, drag(event), that specifies what data to be dragged.

The dataTransfer.setData() method sets the data type and the value of the dragged data:

function drag(ev) {
    ev.dataTransfer.setData("text/html", ev.target.id);
}

In this case, the data type is "text/html" and the value is the id of the draggable element ("drag1").


Where to Drop - ondragover

The ondragover event specifies where the dragged data can be dropped.

By default, data/elements cannot be dropped in other elements. To allow a drop, we must prevent the default handling of the element.

This is done by calling the event.preventDefault() method for the ondragover event:

event.preventDefault()


Do the Drop - ondrop

When the dragged data is dropped, a drop event occurs.

In the example above, the ondrop attribute calls a function, drop(event):

function drop(ev) {
    ev.preventDefault();
    var data = ev.dataTransfer.getData("text/html");
    ev.target.appendChild(document.getElementById(data));
}

Code explained:

  • Call preventDefault() to prevent the browser default handling of the data (default is open as link on drop)
  • Get the dragged data with the dataTransfer.getData() method. This method will return any data that was set to the same type in the setData() method
  • The dragged data is the id of the dragged element ("drag1")
  • Append the dragged element into the drop element


Examples

More Examples

Drag image back and forth
How to drag (and drop) an image back and forth between two <div> elements.



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