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I cannot provide any support or guidance beyond this README. If this code helps you that's great but I have no plans to develop Nestable beyond this demo (it's not a final product and has limited functionality). I cannot reply to any requests for help..

I'm picking up active developement for Nestable! Pull requests are welcome!

Drag & drop hierarchical list with mouse and touch compatibility (jQuery / Zepto plugin)

Try Nestable Demo

Nestable is an experimental example and IS under active development. If it suits your requirements feel free to expand upon it!


Write your nested HTML lists like so:

<div class="dd">
    <ol class="dd-list">
        <li class="dd-item" data-id="1">
            <div class="dd-handle">Item 1</div>
        <li class="dd-item" data-id="2">
            <div class="dd-handle">Item 2</div>
        <li class="dd-item" data-id="3">
            <div class="dd-handle">Item 3</div>
            <ol class="dd-list">
                <li class="dd-item" data-id="4">
                    <div class="dd-handle">Item 4</div>
                <li class="dd-item" data-id="5" data-foo="bar">
                    <div class="dd-handle">Item 5</div>

Then activate with jQuery like so:

$('.dd').nestable({ /* config options */ });


change: For using an .on handler in jquery

The callback provided as an option is fired when elements are reordered or nested.

    callback: function(l,e){
        // l is the main container
        // e is the element that was moved


You can get a serialised object with all data-* attributes for each item.


The serialised JSON for the example above would be:


On the fly nestable generation

You can passed serialized JSON as an option if you like to dynamically generate a Nestable list:

<div class="dd" id="nestable-json"></div>
var json = '[{"id":1},{"id":2},{"id":3,"children":[{"id":4},{"id":5,"foo":"bar"}]}]';
var options = {'json': json }

NOTE: serialized JSON has been expanded so that an optional "content" property can be passed which allows for arbitrary custom content (including HTML) to be placed in the Nestable item

Or do it yourself the old-fashioned way:

<div class="dd" id="nestable3">
    <ol class='dd-list dd3-list'>
        <div id="dd-empty-placeholder"></div>
    var obj = '[{"id":1},{"id":2},{"id":3,"children":[{"id":4},{"id":5}]}]';
    var output = '';
    function buildItem(item) {
        var html = "<li class='dd-item' data-id='" + + "'>";
        html += "<div class='dd-handle'>" + + "</div>";
        if (item.children) {
            html += "<ol class='dd-list'>";
            $.each(item.children, function (index, sub) {
                html += buildItem(sub);
            html += "</ol>";
        html += "</li>";
        return html;
    $.each(JSON.parse(obj), function (index, item) {
        output += buildItem(item);


You can change the follow options:

  • maxDepth number of levels an item can be nested (default 5)
  • group group ID to allow dragging between lists (default 0)
  • callback callback function when an element has been changed (default null)

These advanced config options are also available:

  • contentCallback The callback for customizing content (default function(item) {return item.content || '' ? item.content :;})
  • listNodeName The HTML element to create for lists (default 'ol')
  • itemNodeName The HTML element to create for list items (default 'li')
  • rootClass The class of the root element .nestable() was used on (default 'dd')
  • listClass The class of all list elements (default 'dd-list')
  • itemClass The class of all list item elements (default 'dd-item')
  • dragClass The class applied to the list element that is being dragged (default 'dd-dragel')
  • noDragClass The class applied to an element to prevent dragging (default 'dd-nodrag')
  • handleClass The class of the content element inside each list item (default 'dd-handle')
  • collapsedClass The class applied to lists that have been collapsed (default 'dd-collapsed')
  • noChildrenClass The class applied to items that cannot have children (default 'dd-nochildren')
  • placeClass The class of the placeholder element (default 'dd-placeholder')
  • emptyClass The class used for empty list placeholder elements (default 'dd-empty')
  • expandBtnHTML The HTML text used to generate a list item expand button (default '<button data-action="expand">Expand></button>')
  • collapseBtnHTML The HTML text used to generate a list item collapse button (default '<button data-action="collapse">Collapse</button>')
  • includeContent Enable or disable the content in output (default false)
  • listRenderer The callback for customizing final list output (default function(children, options) { ... } - see defaults in code)
  • itemRenderer The callback for customizing final item output (default function(item_attrs, content, children, options) { ... } - see defaults in code)
  • json JSON string used to dynamically generate a Nestable list. This is the same format as the serialize() output

Inspect the Nestable Demo for guidance.

Change Log

16th September 2015

  • [Innoto] Fork of disappeared repository

6th October 2014

  • [zemistr] Created listRenderer and itemRenderer. Refactored build from JSON.
  • [zemistr] Added support for adding classes via input data. ([{"id": 1, "content": "First item", "classes": ["dd-nochildren", "dd-nodrag", ...] }, ... ])

3th October 2014

  • [zemistr] Added support for additional data parameters.
  • [zemistr] Added callback for customizing content.
  • [zemistr] Added parameter "includeContent" for including / excluding content from the output data.
  • [zemistr] Added fix for input data. (JSON string / Javascript object)

7th April 2014

  • New pickup of repo for developement.

14th March 2013

13th March 2013

  • [tchapi] Replace previous change behaviour with a callback

12th February 2013

  • Merge fix from [jails] : Fix change event triggered twice.

3rd December 2012

  • [dbushell] add no-drag class for handle contents
  • [dbushell] use el.closest instead of el.parents
  • [dbushell] fix scroll offset on document.elementFromPoint()

15th October 2012

  • Merge for Zepto.js support
  • Merge fix for remove/detach items

27th June 2012

  • Added maxDepth option (default to 5)
  • Added empty placeholder
  • Updated CSS class structure with options for listClass and itemClass.
  • Fixed to allow drag and drop between multiple Nestable instances (off by default).
  • Added group option to enabled the above.

Original Author: David Bushell @dbushell

New Author : Ramon Smit @Ram0nSm1t

Contributors :

Copyright © 2012 David Bushell / © Ramon Smit 2014 | BSD & MIT license

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