Mac App Interface Examples
June 6, 2019 1:36 PM   Subscribe

There are several well-known Mac apps where the app's main window can act as a drop-pad for files/folders to be manipulated in-app. As you drag a file/folder toward the app window, it senses this and changes design to encourage you to drop the item you're dragging. Can anyone think of apps that behave this way?
posted by Quisp Lover to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
Not mac-specific, but the media library in Wordpress acts this way.
posted by jonathanhughes at 1:43 PM on June 6, 2019

Also, Giphy's upload page.
posted by General Malaise at 1:49 PM on June 6, 2019

Slack does this (also not Mac-specific).

Pretty sure Transmission does as well, but I can't confirm at this exact moment.
posted by Sokka shot first at 1:49 PM on June 6, 2019

Transmission: confirmed. Thanks.

posted by Quisp Lover at 1:53 PM on June 6, 2019

Lightroom also does this (as long as you're in the Library module)
posted by jonathanhughes at 1:57 PM on June 6, 2019

Adobe InDesign allows you to drag a photo or text file onto its interface for placing in an InDesign document. The change in InDesign's window is subtle, though, not the overt 'drag and drop' interface that you see elsewhere.

A website: has a great obvious interface if you're just looking for ideas.
posted by hydra77 at 2:02 PM on June 6, 2019

I was just about to use as an example, but is indeed the most extreme possible version of what I'm saying.

There's got to be a name for it....
posted by Quisp Lover at 2:08 PM on June 6, 2019

posted by karbonokapi at 2:45 PM on June 6, 2019

There's got to be a name for it....

Generally, an application "registers" user interface components to "listen" for drag events, where the registering element states that it is droppable, i.e., it can receive data of a certain type dropped onto it, like a text or image file.

If you click-and-drag a certain type of packaged data, some applications decide to redraw themselves to tell you that you can drop the file on their components (the application window, say).

The Gmail web application does this with attachments, when a drag event brings a document into the browser's window focus. There is an API in raw Javascript for how this is managed by web applications.

Mac desktop applications can use Apple's AppKit API. iOS applications can use iOS UIKit.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 5:59 PM on June 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

Literally every webapp with file upload capability that isn't using ten year old code. Likewise any messenger app you can think of (WhatsApp, Telegram, etc., etc.)

As others have mentioned, image editors, image hosts, email clients. In fact, I find it harder to think of counterexamples...

As others have mentioned, there are well known libraries and APIs that almost all modern websites use now.
posted by turkeyphant at 6:35 PM on June 7, 2019

« Older Dealing with the pain of a friend breakup that I'm...   |   Sous Vide Update Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.