ForeUI is an easy-to-use UI prototyping tool, designed to create mockup / wireframe / prototypes for any application or website you have in mind.

All posts tagged Drag and Drop

ForeUI V3.0 RC Released!


ForeUI 3.0 RC version is just released.  As the last version before V3.0 official release, this version tend to be stable and offer much better experience.  We don’t plan to add new feature in the official release of 3.0, instead we will include the completed document and have some bugs fixed.

We have made so many improvements in this version that I could not introduce them one by one.  A full list of new features, enhancements and bug fixings can be found here.  In this blog post, I would like to show you the most interesting part of this update.

ForeUI Store

From this version, ForeUI integrates with its new online resource store.  You can download new element, library or plot file from store window, or from the store web site.  You will be able to download new UI theme and ForeUI plugins from the same site in the future.

Clicking the category buttons on top can filter the items to be listed.  You can also search the item by tag via the search box on top right corner.  If you click the “Preview” button, the HTML 5 simulation of the item will be launched in your web browser, and you can see how it works.  Clicking on the “Download” button will download the item and deploy it (if needed).

The store is just online and there is not so much resource inside yet.  We will frequently add new resources into the store site.

Drag and Drop in Outline View

The outline view is significantly improved by supporting drag and drop elements directly.  This is an easy way to embed element into container, or move embedded element from one container to another.

When you drag an element and try to drop it into a container, the tool-tip will tell you if it is allowed.  So you will know what you can do and what you can’t, also you will know why.  This feature is extremely useful when you want to manage a lot of overlapped elements.

Other New Stuffs

There are many other new things in this version.  Don’t be surprised if you find something different than they used to be.  Ususally they are changed in a better way, but if you think they are not, please feel free to tell us.

If you are interested in what we exactly did in this version, please check out the update history page.

Simulate Drag and Drop with ForeUI

From V2.17 ForeUI supports the drag and drop simulation.  This post will introduce how to make element draggable.  Just remind that if you want to simulate a draggable window, that will be quite easy: just check the “Draggable” option for the Window element.

From V2.17 all elements can become draggable.  What you need to do is to handle the mouse events properly.

Before going deep into the details, lets take a look at the analysis of drag and drop behavior (drag from P1 and drop to P2):

During this process, there will be three mouse event triggered orderly: Mouse Down, Mouse Move and Mouse Up. To simulate the drag and drop behavior, we need to handle these mouse events in this way:

  • Mouse Down:
    • Mark the current status as “dragging”.
    • Cache the current location P1 as the dragging start point
    • Cache the current location of the element that being dragged as the element origin
  • Mouse Move:
    • Calculate the current offset against the dragging start point (P1), and move the element base on its origin and the offset.
  • Mouse Up:
    • Mark the current status as “not dragging”.

In the community you can find a Draggable Container custom element. If you place it in your plot, it will become draggable in simulation. Here is an example.

Actually it is a TextBox element. It becomes draggable because it handle mouse events as above. Here is its behavior definition:

As you can see, the dragging status, dragging start point and element origin are stored in global properties. The most important action is the “Move Element” action, it move the TextBox to this new location:

NewX = ElementOriginX + CurrentCursorX – DraggingStartX

NewY = ElementOriginY + CurrentCursorY – DraggingStartY

One thing should be noticed is the three mouse events are not fully the same than those we mentioned before. The “Mouse Move” is replaced by “Global Mouse Move”, and the “Mouse Up” is replaced by “Global Mouse Up”. Let’s make a comparation for these events:

Native Mouse Event Global Mouse Event
Mouse Down
Mouse is pressed on the element. Mouse is pressed anywhere.
Mouse Move
Mouse is move on the element. Mouse is moved anywhere.
Mouse Up
Mouse is released on the element. Mouse is released anywhere.

From the table above you can see the “Mouse Move” and “Global Mouse Move” is quite similar, but the global event will be triggered no matter where the mouse cursor is. Here is an example to show the reason to use “Global Mouse Move” and “Global Mouse Up” instead of “Mouse Move” and “Mouse Up”:

Let’s say we have two elements: A and B. B has a higher z value. When we drag element A towards B, B will cover A since B has higher z value. When this situation happens, element A can not receive the “Mouse Move” and “Mouse Up” events since element B intercept them. To avoid this situation, we should use “Global Mouse Move” and “Global Mouse Up” events.

Once you understand the mechanism to simulate drag and drop, you will find that all elements can be dragged if you’d like to. Here is an example for drag and drop simulation, you can download its .4ui file from the community.

ForeUI V2.17: Drag and Drop Simulation and Enhanced Tabs

This biweekly release bring us the ability to simulate drag and drop in prototype.  Also it provides the enhanced Tabs and Vertical Tabs elements.  There are other new features, enhancements and lot of bug fixings, please read on.

Drag and Drop Simulation

Now with ForeUI you can simulate the drag and drop behavior in your prototype:

This powerful feature is suggested by snortch.  Since drag and drop can be described as a procedure like this: Mouse Down->Mouse Move->Mouse Up, we need to handle these three mouse events.  Each mouse event can have “Native” and “Global” versions:  The (native) Mouse Down event will trigger only when the mouse is pressed on the element;  The Global Mouse Down event will trigger no matter where you press the mouse.  The situation exists for other mouse events as well.  So we have 6 new mouse events:

  • Mouse Down:  Mouse pressed on the element.
  • Mouse Move:  Mouse moved over the element.
  • Mouse Up:  Mouse released on the element.
  • Global Mouse Down:  Mouse pressed at any place.
  • Global Mouse Move:  Mouse moved anywhere.
  • Global Mouse Up:  Mouse released at any place.

For simulating a drag and drop, we just need to pick 3 of them to handle.  A typical case for dragging an element to move is: Mouse Down->Global Mouse Move->Global Mouse Up.

In the mouse event handler we need to access the current cursor position, so the {Current_Cursor_X} and {Current_Cursor_Y} global properties are provided. 

We understand that simulating drag and drop is not very easy, so we submit a Draggable Container custom element and a Drag and Drop Example plot in ForeUI user community.  You can use the Draggable Container directly when you need to simulate a single draggable object, or you can reference the example if you need to simulate more complex cases.

Enhanced Tabs / Vertical Tabs Element

From this version, the Tabs and Vertical Tabs elements support icon in each tab, and you can also specify the height of the tab.

Re-Edit Custom Element Content

In previous versions, once you create the custom element, you can change its information later, but no easy way to edit its content.  Now things become easier:  just click the “Edit Element” button in the custom element information window, you will open the custom element in a new tab.  After that you can edit the custom element like a single-page plot.

New “Key Up” Event

This event will be triggered when any key on keyboard is released.  It will be useful if you want to catch the inputing text in edit box, the Key Down event can not do the job as the value of edit box will be updated after the Key Down event (and before the Key Up event).

Other Enhancements:

  • Support copying/pasting hex color value in color picker. (Suggested by Ulrich)
  • Commit data when page title and page note edit field lose its focus. (Suggested by Tim, Remco and Ulrich)
  • Show error message when pressing Ctrl+D to call action editor for a selected group.  (Suggested by Ulrich)
  • List recent plot files in “File” menu.  (Suggested by Remco and Tim)
  • Can configure the maximum number of recent file records.
  • Change the menu structure for Mac OS.  (Suggested by Remco)
  • Change some menu hotkeys for Mac OS. (Suggested by Remco)
    • SHIFT+CMD+Y: Slide Show
    •  SHIFT+CMD+Z: Redo
    •  SHIFT+CMD+S: Save As
    •  CMD+Q: Quit ForeUI

Fixed Bugs:

  • Bug_0166: TextBox element can not restore visibility after hidden by its container. (Thank Ulrich for reporting)
  • Bug_0167: Press ENTER after changing plot size in plot configure window, the window is closed but the changed is discarded. (Mac OS only.  Thank Remco for reporting)
  • Bug_0168: Can not add image that smaller than 10×10 into image dock (while the minimum image size should be 5×5). (Thank Andre for reporting)
  • Bug_0169: Modification will be lost if saving on a read-only plot file, no message is shown. (Thank Steffen Neumann’s report via email)
  • Bug_0170: Use ComboBox to switch page, the popup list will not be hidden automatically in IE.  (Thank Herve.Seger’s report via email)
  • Bug_0171: The selection of popup list in ComboBox should be cleared after hiding the popup list. (Thank Herve.Seger’s report via email)
  • Bug_0172: In Mac OS X, after closing the about dialog in ForeUI menu, another “V1.00” about dialog will pop up. (Thank Remco for reporting)
  • Bug_0173: Saved .fce file contains inconsistent page id.
  • Bug_0174: Element categories with small button will not update its style when UI theme is changed.
  • Bug_0175: Input file name without “.4ui” suffix for new plot file, the recent file history will save an incomplete record.
  • Bug_0176: After clicking the “Ok” button in settings window, it always ask for restarting ForeUI, even there is nothing changed.
  • Bug_0177: The thumbnail for newly added or loaded custom element can not be updated when UI theme is changed.
  • Bug_0178: The scrollable range in element category is too big when displaying small element buttons.  (Thank Ulrich for reporting)
  • Bug_0179: The scrollable range in element category is not updated after a filter keyword is entered.  (Thank Ulrich for reporting)