Dragging and dropping is a powerful way to get things done on your Mac. It's common to move files and folders around by dragging and dropping them, but you can also drag-and-drop to open documents, move text, apply colours, and much more. DragonDrop is a utility for your Mac that helps make dragging and dropping work a bit more fluidly.

Conceptually, DragonDrop offers you a place to set things down during a drag-and-drop maneuver. It can be difficult to move things around if you have to keep the mouse button held, especially if the place that you want to drop isn't visible on the screen. DragonDrop springs up with a quick shake of the wrist, and disappears when you drag your object back out.

Dropping data into DragonDrop

There are two ways to drop data into DragonDrop.

First, you can shake to activate. Begin your dragging operation normally. Once you've picked up the item, shake your mouse cursor back and forth briefly to make DragonDrop appear:

DragonDrop appears as a small grey window floating above your workspace. Move your mouse over the DragonDrop window and release the mouse button. You'll see the item's icon appear in DragonDrop, safe for you to pick up again later.

Alternatively, you can hold to activate. Just drag your item up to the top of your screen and hold it there for a moment. DragonDrop will open below your pointer after a second.

DragonDrop can hold on to data for as long as you please, and you can move the window around to ensure it's out of your way. If you decide you don't need the item you dropped in, you can close the panel and DragonDrop will forget about the item.

Using QuickLook

DragonDrop lets you see full QuickLook previews of the items inside of it. To see the preview, click the QuickLook icon at the top of the panel, or double-click the items inside it.

Depending on the file, you'll be able to flip through presentations, read PDFs, or even watch movie clips.

Dragging data back out of DragonDrop

To get data back out of DragonDrop, just drag the item out of the floating window. You can then drop it anywhere you please, and it will behave as if you had dragged it directly from the original source.

Multiple items

You can drag as many items as you want into DragonDrop at a single time. DragonDrop will hold on to all of them, and they will all come out together when you drag them back out.

If there's already an item inside of of DragonDrop, dropping something else on it will replace the original item.

Copy & Paste

DragonDrop can also work with the standard system clipboard, so you can Cut, Copy, and Paste data to and from DragonDrop. Just click on the DragonDrop icon in the menu bar.

If you've dragged data into DragonDrop, you can cut or copy it into your clipboard.

If you've got data in your clipboard, you can paste it into DragonDrop.

Known issues

DragonDrop makes use of Mac OS X's built-in drag-and-drop system. As such, only applications that make use of it are fully compatible. Some applications that use drag-and-drop are actually built using their own drag-and-drop software, and don't work properly. If you have trouble using an application with DragonDrop, first try dragging an item to the Finder. If it works in with the Finder, it should generally work with DragonDrop, too. If not, it probably won't work with DragonDrop, either.

We've worked hard to make DragonDrop work even with programs that aren't fully compatible, but there are some limitations.

Dragging from Dock stacks only responds to the shake-to-activate gesture if your Dock is not set to auto-hide. You can always open the panel by dragging something to the top of your screen and holding it there for a second.

Image Capture does not support dragging to anywhere other than the Finder. We hope this will be fixed in a future update of OS X.

System requirements

DragonDrop requires OS X Mavericks, Mountain Lion, or Lion — that is, version 10.7 or higher. (How do I know which version of OS X I have?)

Licensing information (direct-download version)

DragonDrop is licensed on a per-user basis — feel free to unlock it on all of the Macintoshes that you own.

Your license is good for all future updates to all 1.x versions of DragonDrop. If a 2.x version of DragonDrop is released within six months of your purchase, you will receive that for free as well.