Enable Drag and Drop Events

Enable has support for objects being dropped onto components built on top of the backend’s (and, in practice, PyFace’s) support for drag and drop.

All drag-and-drop related events have type DragEvent and provide the x and y coordinates of the event, and the object being dragged or dropped (if it is available from the backend, otherwise this will be None).

The system generates 3 types of drag and drop events:

These events are generated when the user is moving a dragged object over the Enable window. Tools or other Interactors which want to indicate that they can accept the drag should indicate this by calling the set_drag_result() method of the Enable window indicating the type of operation that will be performed on the object (the default is a “copy”, but other possibilties include “move” or “link”, the full list of possibilites is found in the appropriate constants module). The value of the drag result influences the way that the operating system displays the dragged objects and cursor whil dragging.
This event is generated when the user drags objects out of the window.
This event is generated when the user releases the mouse button over the Enable window while dragging. Tools or other Interactors should handle this event to perform whatever operations need to be performed with the dropped objects.


As a convenience, there is a BaseDropTool class which handles most of the drag and drop interactions for you correctly. To use this, you need to subclass and override at least the accept_drop and handle_drop methods.

This method is given the position and object instance and should return True if the drop is accepted or False if it is not.
If the drop is accepted, this method is called with the position and the objects, and should perform whatever actions are required with the dropped objects.

The behaviour is slightly different between the Wx and Qt backends: Qt provides a reference to the dragged objects during drag_over events, and so the BaseDropTool will call accept_drop during drag_over events to give better feedback about the state of the drag and drop operation; whereas Wx does not provide that information, so will always indicate to the operating system that a drop is possible.

The type of drag result returned during drag_over events is controlled by the default_drag_result attribute.

If you want more control over the response to drag_over events, then you can additionally override the get_drag_result method to return one of the drag result constants dependin on the position and (possibly) the objects being dragged. If you want cross-toolkit compatibility, you must handle the case where the get_drag_result method is called with the object being None, which indicates that the object is not known yet.