html5-canvas Dragging Path Shapes & Images on Canvas Dragging circles & rectangles around the Canvas


Example

What is a "Shape"?

You typically save your shapes by creating a JavaScript "shape" object representing each shape.

var myCircle = { x:30, y:20, radius:15 };

Of course, you're not really saving shapes. Instead, you're saving the definition of how to draw the shapes.

Then put every shape-object into an array for easy reference.

// save relevant information about shapes drawn on the canvas
var shapes=[];

// define one circle and save it in the shapes[] array
shapes.push( {x:10, y:20, radius:15, fillcolor:'blue'} );

// define one rectangle and save it in the shapes[] array
shapes.push( {x:10, y:100, width:50, height:35, fillcolor:'red'} );

Using mouse events to do Dragging

Dragging a shape or image requires responding to these mouse events:

On mousedown:

Test if any shape is under the mouse. If a shape is under the mouse, the user is intending to drag that shape. So keep a reference to that shape and set a true/false isDragging flag indicating that a drag is in process.

On mousemove:

Calculate the distance that the mouse has been dragged since the last mousemove event and change the dragged shape's position by that distance. To change the shape's position, you change the x,y position properties in that shape's object.

On mouseup or mouseout:

The user is intending to stop the drag operation, so clear the "isDragging" flag. Dragging is completed.

Demo: Dragging circles & rectangles on the canvas

This demo drags circles & rectangles on the canvas by responding to mouse events and giving the illusion of movement by clearing and redrawing.

// canvas related vars
var canvas=document.createElement("canvas");
var ctx=canvas.getContext("2d");
var cw=canvas.width;
var ch=canvas.height;
document.body.appendChild(canvas);
canvas.style.border='1px solid red';

// used to calc canvas position relative to window
function reOffset(){
    var BB=canvas.getBoundingClientRect();
    offsetX=BB.left;
    offsetY=BB.top;        
}
var offsetX,offsetY;
reOffset();
window.onscroll=function(e){ reOffset(); }
window.onresize=function(e){ reOffset(); }
canvas.onresize=function(e){ reOffset(); }

// save relevant information about shapes drawn on the canvas
var shapes=[];
// define one circle and save it in the shapes[] array
shapes.push( {x:30, y:30, radius:15, color:'blue'} );
// define one rectangle and save it in the shapes[] array
shapes.push( {x:100, y:-1, width:75, height:35, color:'red'} );

// drag related vars
var isDragging=false;
var startX,startY;

// hold the index of the shape being dragged (if any)
var selectedShapeIndex;

// draw the shapes on the canvas
drawAll();

// listen for mouse events
canvas.onmousedown=handleMouseDown;
canvas.onmousemove=handleMouseMove;
canvas.onmouseup=handleMouseUp;
canvas.onmouseout=handleMouseOut;

// given mouse X & Y (mx & my) and shape object
// return true/false whether mouse is inside the shape
function isMouseInShape(mx,my,shape){
    if(shape.radius){
        // this is a circle
        var dx=mx-shape.x;
        var dy=my-shape.y;
        // math test to see if mouse is inside circle
        if(dx*dx+dy*dy<shape.radius*shape.radius){
            // yes, mouse is inside this circle
            return(true);
        }
    }else if(shape.width){
        // this is a rectangle
        var rLeft=shape.x;
        var rRight=shape.x+shape.width;
        var rTop=shape.y;
        var rBott=shape.y+shape.height;
        // math test to see if mouse is inside rectangle
        if( mx>rLeft && mx<rRight && my>rTop && my<rBott){
            return(true);
        }
    }
    // the mouse isn't in any of the shapes
    return(false);
}

function handleMouseDown(e){
    // tell the browser we're handling this event
    e.preventDefault();
    e.stopPropagation();
    // calculate the current mouse position
    startX=parseInt(e.clientX-offsetX);
    startY=parseInt(e.clientY-offsetY);
    // test mouse position against all shapes
    // post result if mouse is in a shape
    for(var i=0;i<shapes.length;i++){
        if(isMouseInShape(startX,startY,shapes[i])){
            // the mouse is inside this shape
            // select this shape
            selectedShapeIndex=i;
            // set the isDragging flag
            isDragging=true;
            // and return (==stop looking for 
            //     further shapes under the mouse)
            return;
        }
    }
}

function handleMouseUp(e){
    // return if we're not dragging
    if(!isDragging){return;}
    // tell the browser we're handling this event
    e.preventDefault();
    e.stopPropagation();
    // the drag is over -- clear the isDragging flag
    isDragging=false;
}

function handleMouseOut(e){
    // return if we're not dragging
    if(!isDragging){return;}
    // tell the browser we're handling this event
    e.preventDefault();
    e.stopPropagation();
    // the drag is over -- clear the isDragging flag
    isDragging=false;
}

function handleMouseMove(e){
    // return if we're not dragging
    if(!isDragging){return;}
    // tell the browser we're handling this event
    e.preventDefault();
    e.stopPropagation();
    // calculate the current mouse position         
    mouseX=parseInt(e.clientX-offsetX);
    mouseY=parseInt(e.clientY-offsetY);
    // how far has the mouse dragged from its previous mousemove position?
    var dx=mouseX-startX;
    var dy=mouseY-startY;
    // move the selected shape by the drag distance
    var selectedShape=shapes[selectedShapeIndex];
    selectedShape.x+=dx;
    selectedShape.y+=dy;
    // clear the canvas and redraw all shapes
    drawAll();
    // update the starting drag position (== the current mouse position)
    startX=mouseX;
    startY=mouseY;
}

// clear the canvas and 
// redraw all shapes in their current positions
function drawAll(){
    ctx.clearRect(0,0,cw,ch);
    for(var i=0;i<shapes.length;i++){
        var shape=shapes[i];
        if(shape.radius){
            // it's a circle
            ctx.beginPath();
            ctx.arc(shape.x,shape.y,shape.radius,0,Math.PI*2);
            ctx.fillStyle=shape.color;
            ctx.fill();
        }else if(shape.width){
            // it's a rectangle
            ctx.fillStyle=shape.color;
            ctx.fillRect(shape.x,shape.y,shape.width,shape.height);
        }
    }
}