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2.7.7 • Public • Published


A vue toolset that let's you make any element draggable, on both mobile and desktop with just 4 lines of code!


You know the drill here:


npm install v3-dragger


yarn add v3-dragger


There are two ways you can use v3-dragger. The far easier and quicker way is as a vue directive, but some hook functions are also provided, in case you have a special use case and just want to have the library do only the math for you.


If you're planning on using the provided directive (recommended!), you'll need to register it globally in your Vue project.

// main.ts
import { createApp } from 'vue';
import { vDraggerBeforeMount, vDraggerUnMount } from 'v3-dragger';

  .directive('dragger', {
    beforeMount: vDraggerBeforeMount,
    unmounted: vDraggerUnMount,
<!-- Draggable.vue -->
<div class="draggable-element" v-dragger>This is a draggable element</div>

If you do this, unitless CSS variables by the names of --v-dragger-y-offset and --v-dragger-x-offset will automatically be added to the element. All you have to do at this point is set the proper positions of your element using those CSS variables. Don't forget to convert the unitless variable to the proper unit by calling the calc function and multiplying the variable by the proper unit! Here's an example:

/* Draggable.vue */
.draggable-element {
  position: relative;
  top: calc(var(--v-dragger-y-offset) * 1px);
  left: calc(var(--v-dragger-x-offset) * 1px);

And you're done! You can now drag your element around the screen.

Directive with custom events

If you need to add extra functionality to your drag start, move, or end functions, you totally can! Make sure you set up the directive in your project like in the previous section.

When you add your directive to an element, you can pass in any one of three functions that will fire when your drag/touch event starts, when your element is moved, and when your drag/touch event ends:

<!-- Draggable.vue -->
      dragStart: () => {
        // do things on drag start
      dragMove: (e) => {
        // do things when the element is dragged/moved
      dragEnd: () => {
        // do things on drag end
    Drag me

Hook functions

In case you have a special use case (maybe you want to add the CSS variables to an element that isn't the one actually being dragged), you'll need to use the hook functions and do the rest of the work yourself.

In your script tag, import the proper hook function. You can import useMobileDragger, useDesktopDragger, or useDragger, depending on which device you want your drag to work on. useDragger works on both mobile and desktop.

The hook function will return several state variables and functions for your use. useMobileDragger will return variables that start with 'touch' while useDesktopDragger and useDragger will return variables that start with 'drag'.

dragYStart/touchYStart, dragXStart/touchXStart

These are the starting positions of the cursor when the user started the drag/touch event. They are set to 0 until the user starts dragging.

dragYOffset/touchYOffset, dragXOffset/touchXOffset

These are the current offsets of the cursor from the starting position. They are set to 0 until the user starts dragging. These are the important variables for you. You'll use these to set the CSS position of your element using CSS variables.

dragStart, dragMove, dragEnd, resetState

These four are event functions. dragStart and dragMove obviously fire at the appropriate times. dragEnd actually does not do anything by default, since what you'll want to do on your dragEnd is either nothing or something specific to your situation. resetState allows you to manually reset all of the state variables (above) back to 0 in one function call.

dragStart, dragMove, and dragEnd are able to be overriden individually if you so prefer. To do so, pass in your overrides when calling one of the use hook functions. All of them have the parameters in the same order, and that order is in reverse (dragEnd, dragMove, dragStart), since dragEnd is probably going to be overriden most often, followed by dragMove. Pass undefined for any function you don't need to override. Pass 0 parameters if you don't need to override any functionality. For those without TS, a) start using it (teehee) and b) see the types for the functions you can pass below (they all share the same TS type called CustomGeneric). The first parameter is the event object so that you can add whatever custom functionality you'd like to your drag events.

type CustomGeneric = (
  e: TouchEvent | DragEvent,
  dragYOffset: Ref<number>,
  dragYStart: Ref<number>,
  dragXOffset: Ref<number>,
  dragXStart: Ref<number>,
  clientY: number,
  clientX: number
) => void;

Keep in mind that, as the type above shows, the event is either going to be a TouchEvent or a DragEvent. The exported function isTouchEvent is will help you determine which it is. Don't forget to write logic for both if you want your dragging to work on desktop and mobile!

Using hook functions in conjunction with CSS variables

So you've fired the hook function and you're grabbing the necessary variables off of it to allow your user to drag your element. What next? First, you'll need to utilize CSS variables in order to set the position of your element as the user drags. In your script tag, create a computed property that returns a CSS variable as a string.

// Draggable.vue
const dragYOffsetCss = computed(
  () => `--drag-y-offset: ${touchYOffset.value}px`

In your template, you'll have to add the computed property as the element's style, make sure you register your events, and add a dragger="true" attribute (yes, you need the ="true", don't forget it)!

<!-- Draggable.vue -->
  This element is draggable on desktop!

You now have access to this value in your CSS and can use it to change an element's position as you see fit!

/* Draggable.vue */
top: var(--drag-y-offset);
left: var(--drag-x-offset);

Desktop vs mobile

You'll be working with two separate types of events when dealing with dragging between a desktop and a mobile device. As an FYI, here are the proper HTML events -> what platform they are utilized on -> and their corresponding functions returned by the hook functions:


  • @touchstart -> Mobile only -> touchStart
  • @touchmove -> Mobile only -> touchMove
  • @touchend -> Mobile only -> touchEnd


  • @dragstart -> Desktop only -> dragStart
  • @dragmove -> Desktop only -> dragMove
  • @dragend -> Desktop only -> dragEnd


  • @dragstart -> Desktop and Mobile -> dragStart AND
  • @touchstart -> Desktop and Mobile -> dragStart
  • @dragmove -> Desktop and Mobile -> dragMove AND
  • @touchmove -> Desktop and Mobile -> dragMove
  • @dragend -> Desktop and Mobile -> dragEnd AND
  • @touchend -> Desktop and Mobile -> dragEnd

As you can see, if you want to make something that works on both mobile and desktop, you'll need to add 6 events to your element.

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