Make a draggable element

Assume that we want to turn the following element to draggable element:

<div id="dragMe" class="draggable">Drag me</div>

The element needs to have the following styles:

.draggable {
    /* Indicate the element draggable */
    cursor: move;

    /* It will be positioned absolutely */
    position: absolute;

    /* Doesn't allow to select the content inside */
    user-select: none;

In order to make it draggable, we need to handle three events:

  • mousedown on the element: Track the current position of mouse
  • mousemove on document: Calculate how far the mouse has been moved, and determine the position of element
  • mouseup on document: Remove the event handlers of document
// The current position of mouse
let x = 0;
let y = 0;

// Query the element
const ele = document.getElementById('dragMe');

// Handle the mousedown event
// that's triggered when user drags the element
const mouseDownHandler = function(e) {
    // Get the current mouse position
    x = e.clientX;
    y = e.clientY;
    // Attach the listeners to `document`
    document.addEventListener('mousemove', mouseMoveHandler);
    document.addEventListener('mouseup', mouseUpHandler);

const mouseMoveHandler = function(e) {
    // How far the mouse has been moved
    const dx = e.clientX - x;
    const dy = e.clientY - y;

    // Set the position of element
    ele.style.top = `${ele.offsetTop + dy}px`; 
    ele.style.left = `${ele.offsetLeft + dx}px`;

    // Reassign the position of mouse
    x = e.clientX;
    y = e.clientY;

const mouseUpHandler = function() {
    // Remove the handlers of `mousemove` and `mouseup`
    document.removeEventListener('mousemove', mouseMoveHandler);
    document.removeEventListener('mouseup', mouseUpHandler);

ele.addEventListener('mousedown', mouseDownHandler);

Might be useful