I am looking for an alternative other than drag and drop. Currently i am using kendo ui treeview drag & drop.

TreeView / Drag & drop

Please mention some nice alternative for the same(other than drag and drop).

  • 2
    What is the reason for which you are looking for an alternative. I believe Drag and Drop is the best suited interface for such requirement.
    – ajayashish
    Nov 27, 2012 at 10:44
  • 1
    client!! he wants the interface other than drag. Ok i have a list of items in one box and a tree view in other. I want to transfer list box item to tree view other than drag and drop what is the best way,
    – rusty
    Nov 27, 2012 at 10:54
  • Why does the client want something different? If you can explain why, then that will inform the answers you get. Different interfaces are useful for different circumstances.
    – kastark
    Nov 27, 2012 at 11:04
  • 1
    Hmmm... sure, in a mobile interface I would see the benefit of using something other than drag and drop, like dedicated cut & paste controls. But in a desktop interface...? Drag and drop is hard to beat. Nov 27, 2012 at 11:55
  • 2
    The client is correct. Drag and drop should be treated as an expert shortcut, like double-clicking: it’s fast but has poor discoverability and unacceptable accessibility. Apple desktop Human Interaction Guidelines (developer.apple.com/library/mac/#documentation/userexperience/…) thus require the UI “provide alternative methods for accomplishing drag-and-drop tasks” (p73). Nov 27, 2012 at 14:11

3 Answers 3


With enough room, you could use a variation of the UI described in this question.

Replace the lists with trees.

This type of UI supports drag and drop or point and click.

There will be 3 clicks for each move:
* click on node to be moved
* click on target location
* click on > or < button

You will have to decide how the user specifies target location, e.g., parent node, sibling node.

This is what my company has been using for years because we also use the UI described in question referenced above. The similarity in the UIs makes the interaction easy to learn.


I can certainly understand the requirement for an alternative to drag and drop, even if the drag and drop is retained as the preferred method. Dragging and dropping is almost certainly the easiest method for most people but not everyone is physically able to drag and drop. Maintaining keyboard accessibility is important.

One common solution is to include the ability to edit the parent of each item. That would mean adding some sort of 'edit' or 'move' link next to each item, revealing a representation of the tree and the ability to select which tree item is the parent.


Cut and Paste commands are the usual way to do this in the desktop world, of which your users may be already familiar. If the tree is generally editable, then also include Copy (and Paste) so users can more easily make changes within the tree. Bonus points if Cut/Copy and Paste also work with ^X, ^C, ^V so that the menu/keyboard method is almost as fast as dragging and dropping. More bonus points if you can figure out how to use the OS's actual clipboard (e.g., with XML?) so users can paste nodes outside the app (e.g., to serve as an export function or for temporary storage).

If users can also delete and do other things to a tree node, then control the clutter and save real estate by using desktop-style object-selection-action design with centralized Cut, Copy, Paste, Delete, etc. tools/menu items, rather than repeating the controls for each node. Bonus points for supporting multi-selection. With that, your app is well on its way to being as good as 1995.

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