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Implementing Drag Drop Operations for Browser Based WPF Applications (XBAP)

, 16 Mar 2008 CPOL
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Simple implementation of Drag and Drop operation without full trust requirement


In the article, "Very simple WPF Drag and Drop Sample without Win32 Calls", I stated that because of not using Win32 calls, the resulting code should also work in the browser under partial trust. Well... I was wrong. It turned out that DragDrop.DoDragDrop(...) function would throw a SecurityException in an XBAP application under partial trust since DragDrop.DoDragDrop originates a so called OLE Drag'n Drop operation. For most applications, when we are dragging and dropping only WPF objects, no OLE transfer is necessary. So in this article, I give an example of simulating the Drag'n Drop functionality without DragDrop.DoDragDrop method that runs in a browser.

Using the Code

To use the code, simply unzip the file, start the project, compile and run the application.

There are two interesting things I had to figure out in order to make the application work in a browser: making sure that the picture of the cursor is visible and adopts a shape that we want. Both are implemented in ListView1_MouseMove callback for ListView1.MouseMove event.

To make the cursor visible, we simply do:


There is a problem that remains, however: I wanted the cursor to become a rectangle and there were no rectangle shapes among Cursors enumeration. And to top it all, you cannot use a bitmap image for a cursor in an XBAP partial trust application. To get around this problem, I made the cursor to be a semi-transparent rectangle visible only for the duration of the drag operation:

        <SolidColorBrush Color="Blue" 

The following code ensures that the cursor rectangle does not move outside of the ListView control boundaries:

Point p = e.GetPosition(ListView1); // get the location of the mouse pointer

// get the boundaries of the ListView control (the cursor should not 
// be allowed to go beyond those boundaries
Rect bounds = VisualTreeHelper.GetDescendantBounds(ListView1); 

// set the vertical coordinate of the cursor to 
// coincide with the current mouse vertical coordinate
// as long as we are still within the boundaries of the 
// ListView control
if ( (bounds.Top < p.Y) && (bounds.Bottom > p.Y))
    Canvas.SetTop(CursorRectangle, p.Y);

// set the vertical coordinate of the cursor to 
// coincide with the current mouse horizontal coordinate
// as long as we are still within the boundaries of the 
// ListView control
if ((bounds.Left < p.X) && (bounds.Right > p.X))
    Canvas.SetLeft(CursorRectangle, p.X);

The rest of the code is very similar to that of "Very simple WPF Drag and Drop Sample without Win32 Calls" article.


  • 16th March, 2008: Initial post


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Nick Polyak
Architect AWebPros
United States United States
I have 15 years of experience developing enterprise software, starting from C++ and Java on UNIX and moving towards C# on Windows platforms.
I am fascinated by the new .NET technologies especially WPF, Silverlight and LINQ.
Recently I decided to make a move and start my own contracting consulting and mentoring company AWebPros.
I can be contacted via my web site or through my blog at

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