#713 – Setting the Cursor to an Image of an UIElement While Dragging

You can use the GiveFeedback to change the cursor during a drag-and-drop operation.  You can go a bit further and set the cursor to an image that represents the user interface element that you are dragging by rendering the UIElement to a bitmap and then converting that bitmap to a cursor.

This example is based on code written by Brandon Cannaday, at http://www.switchonthecode.com/tutorials/wpf-tutorial-how-to-use-custom-cursors .  To start with, here is Brandon’s code, as modified by reader “Swythan”:

    public class CursorHelper
    {
        private static class NativeMethods
        {
            public struct IconInfo
            {
                public bool fIcon;
                public int xHotspot;
                public int yHotspot;
                public IntPtr hbmMask;
                public IntPtr hbmColor;
            }

            [DllImport("user32.dll")]
            public static extern SafeIconHandle CreateIconIndirect(ref IconInfo icon);

            [DllImport("user32.dll")]
            public static extern bool DestroyIcon(IntPtr hIcon);

            [DllImport("user32.dll")]
            [return: MarshalAs(UnmanagedType.Bool)]
            public static extern bool GetIconInfo(IntPtr hIcon, ref IconInfo pIconInfo);
        }

        [SecurityPermission(SecurityAction.LinkDemand, UnmanagedCode = true)]
        private class SafeIconHandle : SafeHandleZeroOrMinusOneIsInvalid
        {
            public SafeIconHandle()
                : base(true)
            {
            }

            override protected bool ReleaseHandle()
            {
                return NativeMethods.DestroyIcon(handle);
            }
        }

        private static Cursor InternalCreateCursor(System.Drawing.Bitmap bmp)
        {
            var iconInfo = new NativeMethods.IconInfo();
            NativeMethods.GetIconInfo(bmp.GetHicon(), ref iconInfo);

            iconInfo.xHotspot = 0;
            iconInfo.yHotspot = 0;
            iconInfo.fIcon = false;

            SafeIconHandle cursorHandle = NativeMethods.CreateIconIndirect(ref iconInfo);
            return CursorInteropHelper.Create(cursorHandle);
        }

        public static Cursor CreateCursor(UIElement element)
        {
            element.Measure(new Size(double.PositiveInfinity, double.PositiveInfinity));
            element.Arrange(new Rect(new Point(), element.DesiredSize));

            RenderTargetBitmap rtb =
              new RenderTargetBitmap(
                (int)element.DesiredSize.Width,
                (int)element.DesiredSize.Height,
                96, 96, PixelFormats.Pbgra32);

            rtb.Render(element);

            var encoder = new PngBitmapEncoder();
            encoder.Frames.Add(BitmapFrame.Create(rtb));

            using (var ms = new MemoryStream())
            {
                encoder.Save(ms);
                using (var bmp = new System.Drawing.Bitmap(ms))
                {
                    return InternalCreateCursor(bmp);
                }
            }
        }
    }

Now that we have the helper class, we can use it to set the cursor to the image of a Label that we are dragging. Here’s the XAML defining a label to drag from and one to drag to.

    <StackPanel Orientation="Vertical" HorizontalAlignment="Center" Margin="45">
        <Label Content="Data to drag" Background="AliceBlue" Padding="15,10"
               MouseLeftButtonDown="Label_MouseLeftButtonDown"
               GiveFeedback="Label_GiveFeedback"/>
        <Label Content="Drag to here" Background="MediumSpringGreen" Padding="15,10" Margin="20"
               AllowDrop="True" Drop="Label_Drop"/>
    </StackPanel>

Here’s the relevant drag-and-drop related code:

        private void Label_MouseLeftButtonDown(object sender, MouseButtonEventArgs e)
        {
            DataObject data = new DataObject(DataFormats.Text, ((Label)e.Source).Content);

            DragDrop.DoDragDrop((DependencyObject)e.Source, data, DragDropEffects.Copy);
        }

        private void Label_Drop(object sender, DragEventArgs e)
        {
            ((Label)e.Source).Content = (string)e.Data.GetData(DataFormats.Text);
        }

        private Cursor customCursor = null;

        private void Label_GiveFeedback(object sender, GiveFeedbackEventArgs e)
        {
            if (e.Effects == DragDropEffects.Copy)
            {
                if (customCursor == null)
                    customCursor = CursorHelper.CreateCursor(e.Source as UIElement);

                if (customCursor != null)
                {
                    e.UseDefaultCursors = false;
                    Mouse.SetCursor(customCursor);
                }
            }
            else
                e.UseDefaultCursors = true;

            e.Handled = true;
        }
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About Sean
Software developer in the Twin Cities area, passionate about software development and sailing.

6 Responses to #713 – Setting the Cursor to an Image of an UIElement While Dragging

  1. Pingback: Dew Drop – December 18, 2012 (#1,465) | Alvin Ashcraft's Morning Dew

  2. Olivier Voutat says:

    Nice but I have a secondary effect when using with a listboxitem. The clicked listboxitem becomes black and a copy of it covers the first listboxitem of the list… any idea?

  3. Olivier Voutat says:

    I simply copied pasted your code and I pass the listboxitem element to it. With the code for a text cursor it works fine.

  4. Olivier Voutat says:

    Tested with a simple image. Works fine too. Did some changes and instead of using the element itself, I use a VisualBrush to render the cursor. Now it works without problems:

    public static Cursor CreateCursor(UIElement element)
    {
    DrawingVisual dv = new DrawingVisual();
    using (DrawingContext dc = dv.RenderOpen())
    {
    VisualBrush vb = new VisualBrush(element);
    dc.DrawRectangle(vb, null, new Rect(new Point(), new Size(element.RenderSize.Width, element.RenderSize.Height)));
    }

    // The BitmapSource that is rendered with a Visual.
    RenderTargetBitmap rtb = new RenderTargetBitmap(
    (int)element.RenderSize.Width, (int)element.RenderSize.Height,
    96, 96, PixelFormats.Pbgra32);
    rtb.Render(dv);

    // Encoding the RenderBitmapTarget into a bitmap (as PNG)
    var encoder = new PngBitmapEncoder();
    encoder.Frames.Add(BitmapFrame.Create(rtb));

    using (var ms = new MemoryStream())
    {
    encoder.Save(ms);
    using (var bmp = new System.Drawing.Bitmap(ms))
    {
    return InternalCreateCursor(bmp);
    }
    }
    }

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