AskDefine | Define dragging

Dictionary Definition



1 the phenomenon of resistance to motion through a fluid [syn: retarding force]
2 something that slows or delays progress; "taxation is a drag on the economy"; "too many laws are a drag on the use of new land"
3 something tedious and boring; "peeling potatoes is a drag"
4 clothing that is conventionally worn by the opposite sex (especially women's clothing when worn by a man); "he went to the party dressed in drag"; "the waitresses looked like missionaries in drag"
5 a slow inhalation (as of tobacco smoke); "he took a puff on his pipe"; "he took a drag on his cigarette and expelled the smoke slowly" [syn: puff, pull]
6 the act of dragging (pulling with force); "the drag up the hill exhausted him"


1 pull, as against a resistance; "He dragged the big suitcase behind him"; "These worries were dragging at him"
2 draw slowly or heavily; "haul stones"; "haul nets" [syn: haul, hale, cart]
3 force into some kind of situation, condition, or course of action; "They were swept up by the events"; "don't drag me into this business" [syn: embroil, tangle, sweep, sweep up, drag in]
4 move slowly and as if with great effort
5 to lag or linger behind; "But in so many other areas we still are dragging" [syn: trail, get behind, hang back, drop behind]
6 suck in or take (air); "draw a deep breath"; "draw on a cigarette" [syn: puff, draw]
7 use a computer mouse to move icons on the screen and select commands from a menu; "drag this icon to the lower right hand corner of the screen"
8 walk without lifting the feet [syn: scuff]
9 search (as the bottom of a body of water) for something valuable or lost [syn: dredge]
10 persuade to come away from something attractive or interesting; "He dragged me away from the television set"
11 proceed for an extended period of time; "The speech dragged on for two hours" [syn: drag on, drag out] [also: dragging, dragged]dragging adj
1 marked by a painfully slow and effortful manner; "it was a strange dragging approach"; "years of dragging war"
2 passing painfully or tediously slowly; "the dragging minutes"dragging See drag

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. present participle of drag

Extensive Definition

In computing, a mouse gesture is a way of combining computer mouse movements and clicks which the software recognizes as a specific command. Mouse gestures can provide quick access to common functions of a program. They can also be useful for people who have difficulties typing on a keyboard. For example, in a web browser, the user could navigate to the previously viewed page by pressing the right mouse button, moving the mouse briefly to the left, then releasing the button.


The first mouse gesture, the "drag," was introduced by Apple to replace a dedicated "move" button on mouses shipped with its Macintosh and Lisa computers. Dragging involves holding down a mouse button while moving the mouse; the software interprets this as an action distinct from separate clicking and moving behaviors. Although this behavior has been adopted in a huge variety of software packages, few other gestures have been as successful.

Current use

As of 2005, most programs do not support gestures other than the drag operation. Each program that recognizes mouse gestures does so in its own way, sometimes allowing for very short mouse movement distances to be recognized as gestures, and sometimes requiring very precise emulation of a certain movement pattern (e.g. circle). Some implementations allow users to customize these factors.
Some video games have used mouse gestures. For example, in the Myth real-time tactics series, originally created by Bungie Software, players use them to order battlefield units to move in a desired direction. Another game using mouse gestures is Lionhead's Black & White. The game Arx Fatalis uses mouse gestures for drawing runes in the air to cast spells. The demo video suggests that some of Nintendo's Wii games will take advantage of such a system. "Okami" for the Playstation 2 system uses a system similar to mouse gestures; when the player enters a certain mode, they can hold a face button and move the analog stick to create a shape (circle, half-circle, line, etc) that performs a function such as creating a bomb, or changing from night to day.
The Opera web browser has recognized mouse gestures since version 5.10 (April 2001). Several mouse gesture extensions are also available for the Mozilla Firefox browser, such as the Optimoz Mouse Gestures extension that offer also Rocker gestures performed by pressing one mouse button while holding down the other (this offers two additional commands, usually moving forward/backward). These extensions use almost identical gestures as Opera.
Some tools provide mouse gestures support in any application, such as gMote, Sensiva, StrokeIt and Mojo Gesture for Microsoft Windows. KDE includes universal mouse gesture support since version 3.2.
With the Advent of Multi-Touch (brought into the mainstream by Apple Inc. with its iPhone), Many of Apple Inc.'s products support Multi-Touch gestures]]. The iPhone and iPod Touch sport identical gestures, as do the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. The standard MacBook has identical Gesture support to the other MacBooks, but only allows for a maximum of 2 fingers to be used in any one gesture.
RealWorld Icon Editor can recognize 26 mouse gestures while images are being modified in its raster editor and it then performs either standard or custom actions. The action can by an execution of an image filter, change of the active drawing tool, or commands like Apply, Undo, Redo, etc.


A major drawback of current gesture interaction solutions is the lack of support for two necessary user interface design principles, feedback and visibility. Feedback notification is required to indicate whether the gesture has been entered correctly by indicating the gesture recognized and the corresponding command activated, although Sensiva does approach this to some extent in providing voice notification. Mojo Sidekick provides an alternative solution with a pop-up click-through notification. The other principal is visibility of gestures, providing the user some means of learning the necessary gestures and the contexts they can be used in. Mojo gesture does this to some extent by providing pop-up cheat-sheets, that show a list of gestures, when the mouse pointer is held down. Both Mouse Gestures for Internet Explorer and ALToolbar Mouse Gestures display colored tracers that indicate the current motion that the user is taking to facilitate visual clues for the user.
One limitation with gesture interaction is the scope context in which the gestures can be used. For example each gesture has only one corresponding command for each application window. Mojo gesture has an interesting solution to this, which addresses this to some extent, by using floating click-through controls called charms, which allow an additional gesture context for each Charm control, however floating controls are not for everyone.
Note that holding down buttons while moving the mouse can be awkward and requires some practice, since the downwards action increases friction for the horizontal motion. An optical mouse would be less susceptible to changes in behavior than a ball mouse with increased friction because the sensor does not rely on mechanical contact to sense movement; a touchpad provides no added friction with all its buttons held down with a thumb. However, it was also argued that muscular tension resulting from holding down buttons could be exploited in user interface design as it gives constant feedback that the user is in a temporary state, or mode (Buxton, 1995).


These applications add gestures to any software running on system:


Mac OS X




These apps support gestures on their own:

Software libraries

  • iGesture Open Source Java framework for pen and mouse-based gesture recognition.
  • Java Swing Mouse Gestures Open source pure Java library for recognition and processing mouse gestures.
  • Lipi Toolkit Open source toolkit that supports recognition of arbitrary pen and mouse-based gestures as well as handwritten characters.
  • LibStroke is a stroke translation library in C/Java
  • Mouse Gestures for .NET Open source .NET component for mouse gestures recognition


External links

dragging in German: Mausgeste
dragging in French: Mouvement de la souris
dragging in Italian: Mouse gesture
dragging in Korean: 마우스 제스처
dragging in Hungarian: Egérmozdulat
dragging in Japanese: マウスジェスチャー
dragging in Polish: Gesty myszy
dragging in Portuguese: Gesto no mouse
dragging in Russian: Mouse gestures
dragging in Chinese: 鼠标手势
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