I'm implementing a UI where you can draw a box by clicking and dragging your mouse to select multiple items. Like selecting multiple files/folders:


Does this pattern have a name?

  • 1
    Drag-select, click-and-drag computerhope.com/jargon/d/dragsele.htm
    – Alan
    Commented Dec 6, 2017 at 18:49
  • 2
    This is NOT off topic. The Help center clearly states that Questions about HCI are on topic. This is a question about a particular pattern found in human-computer interfaces. Commented Dec 7, 2017 at 20:34
  • This is the default behavior for copying elements of the UI. Why would someone need another name for copying? Commented Dec 27, 2017 at 14:55
  • @MadalinaTaina Using this select tool doesn't copy them... it only selects them. Once they are selected, the user can work with them all at once. Perhaps they will copy them, perhaps they will delete them... Commented Dec 28, 2017 at 22:13

4 Answers 4


I've seen this referred to as:

  • Drag to select
  • Rectangle select
  • Click and drag (I don't recommend using this name, as it's easily confused with dragging individual files)
  • "Rectangle (or rectangular) select" is the term I see most frequently. Commented Dec 7, 2017 at 20:37

In Axure this feature is named "select contained". In my opinion, you could name this: "select contained items" or "Drag to select contained items".


Marquee select or area select.


This is also referred to as "rubberband selection", as a Google Image Search reveals. Incidentally, as you mention that you're developing a UI, the Qt UI framework has the QRubberBand class that can be used to implement this type of selection.

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