Enhanced Drag '& Drop

I modified the code for using drag & drop on tree controls. The idea was to add three features found on the ClassView tree control of the VC++ ide. With the following code you can disable the drag & drop interface for certain items on the tree (the root item in ClassView, for example), and you can decide whether an item is a valid drop target or not, and in case not, provide an alternative item as a drop target (behavior observed in ClassView when you drag classes between folders; only folders are drop targets). Also, I update the cursor shape to reflect the status of the drag & drop operation.

The member variables needed are:

	CImageList*     m_pDragImage;
	BOOL            m_bLDragging;
	HTREEITEM       m_hitemDrag,m_hitemDrop;
	HCURSOR         m_dropCursor,m_noDropCursor;

Member variables m_dropCursor and m_noDropCursor must be initialized to the desired cursors.

Here is my version of OnBeginDrag:
void CTreeCtrlX::OnBeginDrag(NMHDR* pNMHDR, LRESULT* pResult) 

	// TODO: Add your control notification handler code here
	*pResult = 0;

	m_hitemDrag = pNMTreeView->itemNew.hItem;
	m_hitemDrop = NULL;
	SelectItem( m_hitemDrag );
	if (!IsDropSource(m_hitemDrag))

	// get the image list for dragging 
	m_pDragImage = CreateDragImage(m_hitemDrag);  
	// CreateDragImage() returns NULL if no image list 
	// associated with the tree view control 
	if( !m_pDragImage )

	m_bLDragging = TRUE;
	m_pDragImage->BeginDrag(0, CPoint(15, 15));
	POINT pt = pNMTreeView->ptDrag;
	ClientToScreen( &pt );
	m_pDragImage->DragEnter(NULL, pt);

This member function calls IsDropSource() virtual function to decide if the item can be a source of a drag & drop operation. If IsDropSource() returns FALSE, the drag is cancelled. Here is the default IsDropSource() member function:

/* virtual */ BOOL CTreeCtrlX::IsDropSource(HTREEITEM hItem)
	return TRUE;  // all items are valid sources

I also modified the OnMouseMove() handler:

void CTreeCtrlX::OnMouseMove(UINT nFlags, CPoint point) 
	UINT flags;

	if (m_bLDragging)
		POINT pt = point;
		ClientToScreen( &pt );
		if ((hitem = HitTest(point, &flags)) != NULL)
			m_hitemDrop = GetDropTarget(hitem);
			m_hitemDrop = NULL;
		if (m_hitemDrop)

	CTreeCtrl::OnMouseMove(nFlags, point);

This version, calls GetDropTarget() virtual function to decide if the item behind the cursor is a valid drop target. This function should return NULL if the item is not a valid target for a drop. If the item can accept a drop, it should return its HTREEITEM handle. As an alternative, a different HTREEITEM can be returned to specify a different drop target. This can be useful, for example, if you don't accept drops on tree leafs, but want to direct the drop to the parent. Also I change the cursor to reflect the status of the operation (OnSetCursor is not called while mouse is captured, so the cursor can be safely changed here).

Here is the default implemmentation of the GetDropTarget() virtual function:

/* virtual */ HTREEITEM CTreeCtrlX::GetDropTarget(HTREEITEM hItem)
	// inhibit drop on the drop source or its parent
	if (hItem == m_hitemDrag || hItem == GetParentItem(m_hitemDrag))
		return NULL;
	return hItem;

Finally, here is the OnLButtonUp() handler:

void CTreeCtrlX::OnLButtonUp(UINT nFlags, CPoint point) 
	CTreeCtrl::OnLButtonUp(nFlags, point);

	if (m_bLDragging)
		m_bLDragging = FALSE;

		delete m_pDragImage;

		// Remove drop target highlighting

		if( m_hitemDrag == m_hitemDrop || m_hitemDrop == NULL)

		// If Drag item is an ancestor of Drop item then return
		HTREEITEM htiParent = m_hitemDrop;
		while( (htiParent = GetParentItem( htiParent )) != NULL ) 
			if( htiParent == m_hitemDrag ) return;

		Expand( m_hitemDrop, TVE_EXPAND ) ;

		HTREEITEM htiNew = CopyBranch(m_hitemDrag, m_hitemDrop, TVI_LAST ); 
		SelectItem( htiNew );


  • There are no comments yet. Be the first to comment!

Leave a Comment
  • Your email address will not be published. All fields are required.

Top White Papers and Webcasts

  • With JRebel, developers get to see their code changes immediately, fine-tune their code with incremental changes, debug, explore and deploy their code with ease (both locally and remotely), and ultimately spend more time coding instead of waiting for the dreaded application redeploy to finish. Every time a developer tests a code change it takes minutes to build and deploy the application. JRebel keeps the app server running at all times, so testing is instantaneous and interactive.

  • On-demand Event Event Date: April 22, 2014 Database professionals -- whether developers or DBAs -- can often save valuable time by learning to get the most from their new or existing productivity tools. Whether you're responsible for managing database projects, performing database health checks and reporting, analyzing code, or measuring software engineering metrics, it's likely you're not taking advantage of some of the lesser-known features of Toad from Dell. Attend this eSeminar with Dell Software's …

Most Popular Programming Stories

More for Developers

Latest Developer Headlines

RSS Feeds