Drag and Drop table content with JavaScript


Content of HTML table cells can be dragged to another cell or another table. It isn't difficult to define onMouseMove handler and change top / left element styles to move the object. In case with tables, you will have to determine somehow destination cell. Attaching onMouseOver handler on TD elements will not work, because browser doesn't fire events to the elements beneath the dragged object.

Anyway, after taking care of the current scroll position and calculating TD positions, here is example that should work in FF3+, IE8+, Google Chrome 10+, Safari 5+ and Opera 11+. Please try to drag green, blue or orange bordered DIV elements, change properties (radio button and check-boxes) and click on "Save" button.
Version 5.0.8
Download redips2.tar.gz
You can not drop here
(1) Clone
(2) Clone
Save content of the first table (plain query string)
Save content of the first table (JSON format)
Enable dropping to already taken table cells
Disable dropping to already taken table cells
Switch content
Switching content continuously
Overwrite content
Remove cloned element if dragged outside of any table
Confirm delete
Enable dragging

"Save" button will scan table content, create query string and send to the PHP page. Demo shows how to collect content and accept parameters on the server side. More about accepting parameters you can read at Reading multiple parameters in PHP."Clone" elements (orange in this demo) will be duplicated first because of "clone" keyword contained in class name. If you drop object on cell named "Trash", object will be deleted from the table (with or without confirmation). Script has built in autoscroll and option to forbid landing to the non empty cells or cells named with class "forbid". Table can contain rowspan / colspan TDs and different background color for every cell.

Here are minimal steps to enable content dragging in table:

  • put <script type="text/javascript" src="redips-drag-min.js"></script> to the head section
  • initialize REDIPS.drag library: <body onload="REDIPS.drag.init()">
  • place table(s) inside <div id="drag"> to enable content dragging
  • place <div class="drag">Hello World</div> to the table cell

Other features of redips-drag.js:

  • functions and data structure are defined in namespace (easier integration with other JS frameworks)
  • JSLint: No problems found in redips-drag.js (tough one, huh)
  • REDIPS.drag documentation generated with JsDoc Toolkit
  • drag and drop table rows
  • movable div element can contain form elements, images and links
  • forbidding or allowing TDs marked with class name "mark" (depends on "marked_cell" parameter)
  • option to define exceptions and allow dropping certain DIV elements to the marked cell
  • option to define single content cell on the table declared with "multiple" drop option
  • cloning
    • for unlimited cloning add "clone" class name to the DIV object
      <div class="drag clone">Hello World</div>
    • to limit cloning and transform last object to the ordinary movable object add 'climit1_X' class name
      <div class="drag clone climit1_4">Hello World</div>
    • to limit cloning and transform last object to immovable object add 'climit2_X' class name
      <div class="drag clone climit2_4">Hello World</div>
    • where X is integer and defines number of cloned elements (in previous examples, each climit will allow only 4 cloned elements)
  • unlimited nested tables support
  • dropping objects only to empty cells
  • switch cell content
  • switching cell content continuously
  • overwrite TD content with dropped element
  • shift table content
  • table cell with "trash" class name becomes trashcan
  • enabled handlers to place custom code on events: clicked, moved, not moved, dropped, switched, changed, cloned, cloned end1, cloned end2, not cloned, deleted and undeleted
  • deleting cloned div if the cloned div is dragged outside of any table
  • enabling / disabling dragging
  • animation (move element/row to the destination cell/row)
  • added support for touch devices (touchstart, touchmove, touchend)

How redips-drag.js works?

Script will search for DIV elements (with class name "drag") inside tables closed in <div id="drag"> and attach onMouseDown event handler. When user clicks with left mouse button on DIV element, onMouseMove and onMouseUp handlers will be attached to the document level.

While dragging DIV element, script changes its "left" and "top" styles. This is function of the onMouseMove handler. When user releases left mouse button, onMouseUp event handler will unlink onMouseMove and onMouseUp event handlers. This way, browser will listen and process mousemove events only when DIV element is dragged.

As I mentioned, onMouseDown is defined on the elements you want to drag. Elements beneath the dragged object will not be able to catch onMouseOver event. Why? Because you are dragging object and that object only can catch the onMouseOver event.

So, to detect destination table cells, script calculates all cell coordinates (with scroll page offset) and store them to the array. Array is searched inside onMouseMove handler and after left mouse button is released, DIV will drop to the current (highlighted) table cell.

In redips2.tar.gz (159KB) package you will find 27 examples including example of how to save/recall table using PHP and MySQL. Package also contains and redips-drag-min.js, a compressed version of REDIPS.drag library.

Happy dragging and dropping!

This entry was posted on April 6, 2009 and is filed under Drag and Drop, JavaScript

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1,046 Responses to Drag and Drop table content with JavaScript

  1. Claude says:

    Sorry for my English... I am french...
    Just simple question but I no find answer : how to limit at dropped div to only empty td ?
    My idea is to use your plugin for the children can move de words for do the good sentence...



  2. Claude says:

    How to limit only one div by td ?
    In fact dropped div only in empty td ?

    Sorry for my English... I am french...



  3. Amaury says:

    I'm using pretty large tables representing cabinets in which I drag'n drop equipments. It works pretty well and your library is terrific.
    All my cabinets are tables and inside a div. In order to ave a better visibility, I can change the zoom style of my div from 1 down to 0.5. For example if you change your example1 adding to your div style="zoom:0.8;" it becomes very difficult to drop under the mouse.
    Any suggestions?

  4. Jeff says:

    Am wondering does this work with touch? Meaning tablets and phones? Your examples are great! I would love to use this for my new site/application.

    Let me know if you can use this using your fingers.

  5. Jan says:

    Would like to use Example 3: School timetable as basis. I would like to extend example 3 to have tooltips on each draggable object. Tooltips is done in Example 16: AJAX, hover, sticky, dragging, but I can't figure out how what to change in example 3 to make it work. Any hints?

  6. Pingback: Drag and drop dei contenuti delle tabelle con javascript | sastgroup.com

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