• 2019-03-01
  • React
  • Open Source

React Hooks: Draggable Elements

A light weight (10kb) and efficient Hook that make DOM elements draggable & reorganizable.

Over the past week I worked on my first npm package, and today just published react-drag-elements!

React Drag Element API demo

I wanted to create a simple API which takes a list of items provided by a user, and returns an new list of items for the user to render, updating every time the user drags an item into a new position.

To do this, I needed to:

  • Build a custom drag and drop mechanism that works both with touch/mobile & pointer/mouse events
  • Figure out the logic that calculates which elements need to move, and the position in which they need to move to.

After a few days of trial and error, we have a working API!

Using it is super simple.

yarn add react-drag-elements
import useDragElements from 'react-drag-elements'

// Create a list of items, adding a unique id for each.
// The unique id is what will be used for properly ordering elements.
const initialItems = [
  { id: 0, text: 'One', color: '#616AFF' },
  { id: 1, text: 'Two', color: '#2DBAE7' },
  { id: 2, text: 'Three', color: '#fd4e4e' },

export default function App() {
  // This is it!
  // ===========
  // Our hook returns two values:
  // items: the items for you to render
  // getItemProps: the props to spread onto each rendered element
  const { items, getItemProps } = useDragElements({
    delay: 200, // optional
    debounceMs: 200, // optional
    easeFunction: `ease-out`, // optional

  return (
      {items.map((item: any) => (
        <li key={item.id}>
            {...getItemProps(item.id)} // Spread the prop getter onto the element
            style={{ background: item.color }}


Shoot me an email if you have any questions or suggestions!

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