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Geertjan's Blog

  • April 6, 2007

Drag Folders and Files out of NetBeans IDE

Geertjan Wielenga
Product Manager
I've blogged before about how, in 6.0, you'll be able to drag and drop folders and files from outside the IDE into the explorers or editor. However, interestingly, the reverse is also true. You'll be able to pick something up inside the IDE and drag it out of it.

Here you see my 'nbproject' folder, which I've dragged to a folder outside of the IDE:

This drag and drop functionality (either into or out of the IDE) is by definition quite hidden. There's no menu item or toolbar button to support this functionality, obviously, because that's the point—this functionality is based on the user moving the mouse and dragging and dropping. The danger of this is that people won't use this functionality because there's no indication that it exists! Therefore, this blog entry serves to get the word out about this very powerful functionality, hidden within the depths of the upcoming NetBeans IDE 6.0...

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Comments ( 4 )
  • Tristan Friday, April 6, 2007
    From a UI perspective, this is the expected behavior. It shouldn't "not work" as people will expect it to "just work" based on the standard windows explorer paradigm. I don't think you need to worry about it not being discovered ;-) It's interesting that Java apps so often break UI consistency, and I'm thankful that seems to be lessening.


    I myself have tried to drag files into and out of netbeans only to discover that it didn't work, which was the bigger surprise. I'm glad they've got the interface together, thanks for pointing it out!
    One more question -- does this functionality also work with the standard Linux/Unix (gnome, etc) and OSX (finder) interfaces as well?
  • Romain Guy Friday, April 6, 2007
    Finally! Thank you guys. I cursed at NetBeans every time I tried to add a file to my project my dragging it into NetBeans. And when you work with lots of images, that's very frustrating
  • Javier Molina Friday, April 6, 2007
    I second Romain, every now and then I tried to drag a file into NB only to be greeted with the "forbidden" icon. Dragging files out of netbeans will prove useful, too.
  • Lee Chuk Munn Friday, April 6, 2007
    A totally self serving comment
    You can also do drag and drop on NetBeans 5.5.x platform. I've written a plugin that allows you to open a drop area to a particular directory from which you can drag files or directories.
    See my brag\^h\^h\^h\^hblog for detail http://blogs.sun.com/chuk/entry/almost_dnd
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