Control.DoDragDrop Method (Object, DragDropEffects)


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Begins a drag-and-drop operation.

Namespace:   System.Windows.Forms
Assembly:  System.Windows.Forms (in System.Windows.Forms.dll)

[UIPermissionAttribute(SecurityAction.Demand, Clipboard = UIPermissionClipboard.OwnClipboard)]
public DragDropEffects DoDragDrop(
	object data,
	DragDropEffects allowedEffects


Type: System.Object

The data to drag.

Type: System.Windows.Forms.DragDropEffects

One of the DragDropEffects values.

Return Value

Type: System.Windows.Forms.DragDropEffects

A value from the DragDropEffects enumeration that represents the final effect that was performed during the drag-and-drop operation.

The allowedEffects parameter determines which drag operations can occur. If the drag operation needs to interoperate with applications in another process, data should either be a base managed class (String, Bitmap, or Metafile), or an object that implements ISerializable or IDataObject.

The following describes how and when events related to drag-and-drop operations are raised.

The DoDragDrop method determines the control under the current cursor location. It then checks to see if the control is a valid drop target.

If the control is a valid drop target, the GiveFeedback event is raised with the drag-and-drop effect specified. For a list of drag-and-drop effects, see the DragDropEffects enumeration.

Changes in the mouse cursor position, keyboard state, and mouse button state are tracked.

  • If the user moves out of a window, the DragLeave event is raised.

  • If the mouse enters another control, the DragEnter for that control is raised.

  • If the mouse moves but stays within the same control, the DragOver event is raised.

If there is a change in the keyboard or mouse button state, the QueryContinueDrag event is raised and determines whether to continue the drag, to drop the data, or to cancel the operation based on the value of the Action property of the event's QueryContinueDragEventArgs.

  • If the value of DragAction is Continue, the DragOver event is raised to continue the operation and the GiveFeedback event is raised with the new effect so appropriate visual feedback can be set. For a list of valid drop effects, see the DragDropEffects enumeration.


    The DragOver and GiveFeedback events are paired so that as the mouse moves across the drop target, the user is given the most up-to-date feedback on the mouse's position.

  • If the value of DragAction is Drop, the drop effect value is returned to the source, so the source application can perform the appropriate operation on the source data; for example, cut the data if the operation was a move.

  • If the value of DragAction is Cancel, the DragLeave event is raised.


The DoDragDrop method catches all exceptions and rethrows only the following security or critical exceptions:

  • SecurityException

  • NullReferenceException

  • StackOverflowException

  • OutOfMemoryException

  • ThreadAbortException

  • ExecutionEngineException

  • IndexOutOfRangeException

  • AccessViolationException

The following code example demonstrates a drag-and-drop operation between two ListBox controls. The example calls the DoDragDrop method when the drag action starts. The drag action starts if the mouse has moved more than SystemInformation.DragSize from the mouse location during the MouseDown event. The IndexFromPoint method is used to determine the index of the item to drag during the MouseDown event.

The example also demonstrates using custom cursors for the drag-and-drop operation. The example requires that two cursor files, 3dwarro.cur and 3dwno.cur, exist in the application directory, for the custom drag and no-drop cursors, respectively. The custom cursors will be used if the UseCustomCursorsCheck CheckBox is checked. The custom cursors are set in the GiveFeedback event handler.

The keyboard state is evaluated in the DragOver event handler for the right ListBox, to determine what the drag operation will be based on state of the SHIFT, CTRL, ALT, or CTRL+ALT keys. The location in the ListBox where the drop would occur is also determined during the DragOver event. If the data to drop is not a String, then the DragEventArgs.Effect is set to None in DragDropEffects. Finally, the status of the drop is displayed in the DropLocationLabel Label.

The data to drop for the right ListBox is determined in the DragDrop event handler and the String value is added at the appropriate place in the ListBox. If the drag operation moves outside the bounds of the form, then the drag-and-drop operation is canceled in the QueryContinueDrag event handler.

using System;
using System.Drawing;
using System.Windows.Forms;

namespace Snip_DragNDrop
    public class Form1 : System.Windows.Forms.Form
        private System.Windows.Forms.ListBox ListDragSource;
        private System.Windows.Forms.ListBox ListDragTarget;
        private System.Windows.Forms.CheckBox UseCustomCursorsCheck;
        private System.Windows.Forms.Label DropLocationLabel;

        private int indexOfItemUnderMouseToDrag;
        private int indexOfItemUnderMouseToDrop;        

        private Rectangle dragBoxFromMouseDown;
        private Point screenOffset;

        private Cursor MyNoDropCursor;
        private Cursor MyNormalCursor;

        /// The main entry point for the application.
        static void Main() 
            Application.Run(new Form1());

        public Form1()
            this.ListDragSource = new System.Windows.Forms.ListBox();
            this.ListDragTarget = new System.Windows.Forms.ListBox();
            this.UseCustomCursorsCheck = new System.Windows.Forms.CheckBox();
            this.DropLocationLabel = new System.Windows.Forms.Label();


            // ListDragSource
            this.ListDragSource.Items.AddRange(new object[] {"one", "two", "three", "four", 
                                                                "five", "six", "seven", "eight",
                                                                "nine", "ten"});
            this.ListDragSource.Location = new System.Drawing.Point(10, 17);
            this.ListDragSource.Size = new System.Drawing.Size(120, 225);
            this.ListDragSource.MouseDown += new System.Windows.Forms.MouseEventHandler(this.ListDragSource_MouseDown);
            this.ListDragSource.QueryContinueDrag += new System.Windows.Forms.QueryContinueDragEventHandler(this.ListDragSource_QueryContinueDrag);
            this.ListDragSource.MouseUp += new System.Windows.Forms.MouseEventHandler(this.ListDragSource_MouseUp);
            this.ListDragSource.MouseMove += new System.Windows.Forms.MouseEventHandler(this.ListDragSource_MouseMove);
            this.ListDragSource.GiveFeedback += new System.Windows.Forms.GiveFeedbackEventHandler(this.ListDragSource_GiveFeedback);

            // ListDragTarget
            this.ListDragTarget.AllowDrop = true;
            this.ListDragTarget.Location = new System.Drawing.Point(154, 17);
            this.ListDragTarget.Size = new System.Drawing.Size(120, 225);
            this.ListDragTarget.DragOver += new System.Windows.Forms.DragEventHandler(this.ListDragTarget_DragOver);
            this.ListDragTarget.DragDrop += new System.Windows.Forms.DragEventHandler(this.ListDragTarget_DragDrop);
            this.ListDragTarget.DragEnter += new System.Windows.Forms.DragEventHandler(this.ListDragTarget_DragEnter);
            this.ListDragTarget.DragLeave += new System.EventHandler(this.ListDragTarget_DragLeave);

            // UseCustomCursorsCheck
            this.UseCustomCursorsCheck.Location = new System.Drawing.Point(10, 243);
            this.UseCustomCursorsCheck.Size = new System.Drawing.Size(137, 24);
            this.UseCustomCursorsCheck.Text = "Use Custom Cursors";

            // DropLocationLabel
            this.DropLocationLabel.Location = new System.Drawing.Point(154, 245);
            this.DropLocationLabel.Size = new System.Drawing.Size(137, 24);
            this.DropLocationLabel.Text = "None";

            // Form1
            this.ClientSize = new System.Drawing.Size(292, 270);
            this.Controls.AddRange(new System.Windows.Forms.Control[] {this.ListDragSource,
                                                        this.ListDragTarget, this.UseCustomCursorsCheck,
            this.Text = "drag-and-drop Example";



        private void ListDragSource_MouseDown(object sender, System.Windows.Forms.MouseEventArgs e) 
            // Get the index of the item the mouse is below.
            indexOfItemUnderMouseToDrag = ListDragSource.IndexFromPoint(e.X, e.Y);

            if (indexOfItemUnderMouseToDrag != ListBox.NoMatches) {

                // Remember the point where the mouse down occurred. The DragSize indicates
                // the size that the mouse can move before a drag event should be started.                
                Size dragSize = SystemInformation.DragSize;

                // Create a rectangle using the DragSize, with the mouse position being
                // at the center of the rectangle.
                dragBoxFromMouseDown = new Rectangle(new Point(e.X - (dragSize.Width /2),
                                                               e.Y - (dragSize.Height /2)), dragSize);
            } else
                // Reset the rectangle if the mouse is not over an item in the ListBox.
                dragBoxFromMouseDown = Rectangle.Empty;


        private void ListDragSource_MouseUp(object sender, System.Windows.Forms.MouseEventArgs e) {
            // Reset the drag rectangle when the mouse button is raised.
            dragBoxFromMouseDown = Rectangle.Empty;

        private void ListDragSource_MouseMove(object sender, System.Windows.Forms.MouseEventArgs e) 

            if ((e.Button & MouseButtons.Left) == MouseButtons.Left) {

                // If the mouse moves outside the rectangle, start the drag.
                if (dragBoxFromMouseDown != Rectangle.Empty && 
                    !dragBoxFromMouseDown.Contains(e.X, e.Y)) {

                    // Create custom cursors for the drag-and-drop operation.
                    try {
                        MyNormalCursor = new Cursor("3dwarro.cur");
                        MyNoDropCursor = new Cursor("3dwno.cur");

                    } catch {
                        // An error occurred while attempting to load the cursors, so use
                        // standard cursors.
                        UseCustomCursorsCheck.Checked = false;
                    }finally {

                        // The screenOffset is used to account for any desktop bands 
                        // that may be at the top or left side of the screen when 
                        // determining when to cancel the drag drop operation.
                        screenOffset = SystemInformation.WorkingArea.Location;

                        // Proceed with the drag-and-drop, passing in the list item.                    
                        DragDropEffects dropEffect = ListDragSource.DoDragDrop(ListDragSource.Items[indexOfItemUnderMouseToDrag], DragDropEffects.All | DragDropEffects.Link);

                        // If the drag operation was a move then remove the item.
                        if (dropEffect == DragDropEffects.Move) {                        

                            // Selects the previous item in the list as long as the list has an item.
                            if (indexOfItemUnderMouseToDrag > 0)
                                ListDragSource.SelectedIndex = indexOfItemUnderMouseToDrag -1;

                            else if (ListDragSource.Items.Count > 0)
                                // Selects the first item.
                                ListDragSource.SelectedIndex =0;

                        // Dispose of the cursors since they are no longer needed.
                        if (MyNormalCursor != null)

                        if (MyNoDropCursor != null)
        private void ListDragSource_GiveFeedback(object sender, System.Windows.Forms.GiveFeedbackEventArgs e) 
            // Use custom cursors if the check box is checked.
            if (UseCustomCursorsCheck.Checked) {

                // Sets the custom cursor based upon the effect.
                e.UseDefaultCursors = false;
                if ((e.Effect & DragDropEffects.Move) == DragDropEffects.Move)
                    Cursor.Current = MyNormalCursor;
                    Cursor.Current = MyNoDropCursor;

        private void ListDragTarget_DragOver(object sender, System.Windows.Forms.DragEventArgs e) 

            // Determine whether string data exists in the drop data. If not, then
            // the drop effect reflects that the drop cannot occur.
            if (!e.Data.GetDataPresent(typeof(System.String))) {

                e.Effect = DragDropEffects.None;
                DropLocationLabel.Text = "None - no string data.";

            // Set the effect based upon the KeyState.
            if ((e.KeyState & (8+32)) == (8+32) && 
                (e.AllowedEffect & DragDropEffects.Link) == DragDropEffects.Link) {
                // KeyState 8 + 32 = CTL + ALT

                // Link drag-and-drop effect.
                e.Effect = DragDropEffects.Link;

            } else if ((e.KeyState & 32) == 32 && 
                (e.AllowedEffect & DragDropEffects.Link) == DragDropEffects.Link) {

                // ALT KeyState for link.
                e.Effect = DragDropEffects.Link;

            } else if ((e.KeyState & 4) == 4 && 
                (e.AllowedEffect & DragDropEffects.Move) == DragDropEffects.Move) {

                // SHIFT KeyState for move.
                e.Effect = DragDropEffects.Move;

            } else if ((e.KeyState & 8) == 8 && 
                (e.AllowedEffect & DragDropEffects.Copy) == DragDropEffects.Copy) {

                // CTL KeyState for copy.
                e.Effect = DragDropEffects.Copy;

            } else if ((e.AllowedEffect & DragDropEffects.Move) == DragDropEffects.Move)  {

                // By default, the drop action should be move, if allowed.
                e.Effect = DragDropEffects.Move;

            } else
                e.Effect = DragDropEffects.None;

            // Get the index of the item the mouse is below. 

            // The mouse locations are relative to the screen, so they must be 
            // converted to client coordinates.

            indexOfItemUnderMouseToDrop = 
                ListDragTarget.IndexFromPoint(ListDragTarget.PointToClient(new Point(e.X, e.Y)));

            // Updates the label text.
            if (indexOfItemUnderMouseToDrop != ListBox.NoMatches){

                DropLocationLabel.Text = "Drops before item #" + (indexOfItemUnderMouseToDrop + 1);
            } else
                DropLocationLabel.Text = "Drops at the end.";

        private void ListDragTarget_DragDrop(object sender, System.Windows.Forms.DragEventArgs e) 
            // Ensure that the list item index is contained in the data.
            if (e.Data.GetDataPresent(typeof(System.String))) {

                Object item = (object)e.Data.GetData(typeof(System.String));

                // Perform drag-and-drop, depending upon the effect.
                if (e.Effect == DragDropEffects.Copy ||
                    e.Effect == DragDropEffects.Move) {

                    // Insert the item.
                    if (indexOfItemUnderMouseToDrop != ListBox.NoMatches)
                        ListDragTarget.Items.Insert(indexOfItemUnderMouseToDrop, item);

            // Reset the label text.
            DropLocationLabel.Text = "None";
        private void ListDragSource_QueryContinueDrag(object sender, System.Windows.Forms.QueryContinueDragEventArgs e) {
            // Cancel the drag if the mouse moves off the form.
            ListBox lb = sender as ListBox;

            if (lb != null) {

                Form f = lb.FindForm();

                // Cancel the drag if the mouse moves off the form. The screenOffset
                // takes into account any desktop bands that may be at the top or left
                // side of the screen.
                if (((Control.MousePosition.X - screenOffset.X) < f.DesktopBounds.Left) ||
                    ((Control.MousePosition.X - screenOffset.X) > f.DesktopBounds.Right) ||
                    ((Control.MousePosition.Y - screenOffset.Y) < f.DesktopBounds.Top) ||
                    ((Control.MousePosition.Y - screenOffset.Y) > f.DesktopBounds.Bottom)) {

                    e.Action = DragAction.Cancel;
        private void ListDragTarget_DragEnter(object sender, System.Windows.Forms.DragEventArgs e) {
            // Reset the label text.
            DropLocationLabel.Text = "None";
        private void ListDragTarget_DragLeave(object sender, System.EventArgs e) {
            // Reset the label text.
            DropLocationLabel.Text = "None";

The following code example shows how to use the DragDropEffects enumeration to specify how data should be transferred between the controls involved in a drag-and-drop operation. This example requires that your form includes a RichTextBox control and a ListBox control and that the ListBox control is populated with a list of valid file names. When the user drags a file name onto the RichTextBox control, the control's DragEnter event is raised. Within the event handler, the Effect property of the DragEventArgs is initialized to DragDropEffects to indicate that the data referenced by the file path should be copied to the RichTextBox control.

private void Form1_Load(object sender, EventArgs e) 
   // Sets the AllowDrop property so that data can be dragged onto the control.
   richTextBox1.AllowDrop = true;

   // Add code here to populate the ListBox1 with paths to text files.


private void listBox1_MouseDown(object sender, System.Windows.Forms.MouseEventArgs e)
   // Determines which item was selected.
   ListBox lb =( (ListBox)sender);
   Point pt = new Point(e.X,e.Y);
   int index = lb.IndexFromPoint(pt);

   // Starts a drag-and-drop operation with that item.
      lb.DoDragDrop(lb.Items[index].ToString(), DragDropEffects.Link);

private void richTextBox1_DragEnter(object sender, DragEventArgs e) 
   // If the data is text, copy the data to the RichTextBox control.
      e.Effect = DragDropEffects.Copy;

private void richTextBox1_DragDrop(object sender, DragEventArgs e) 
   // Loads the file into the control. 
   richTextBox1.LoadFile((String)e.Data.GetData("Text"), System.Windows.Forms.RichTextBoxStreamType.RichText);

.NET Framework
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