Skip to main content

Advanced Overrides (Custom Selection Filter)

DragSelect is very extensible, you can even override some publicly exposed methods to alter internal behavior like i.e. dragging or selecting. In this example we are going to look at selecting specifically. You can find all possible overrides under Overrides.

Disclaimer: By hooking into the selection you’re modifying internal behavior. Don’t expect support for any misbehaving caused by hooking in. We will try our best to not introduce breaking changes the over-rideable methods but if you use them, it’s best if you double check each time before updating the library even on minor changes.

The logic for actually selecting elements is straight forward, it all happens in the Selection module.

You can change the selection-process during the selection process (not before, not after) by overwriting the filterSelected method. But why? Well, you might want to change the selection logic to your likings. One use-case we had for example is to filter out the parent elements of the selected elements to prevent multiple elements laying on top of each other to be all selected/deselected together. Overwriting is perfect for this use-case since the recommended Methods or Events are not applicable here.

We’ll take an easier example to show how you can overwrite certain methods:

Have a look at .filterSelected()

The method is called after the elements that are going to be selected/unselected have already been collected. Just before the actual selection happens. It gets called with the following arguments:

Selection.filterSelected = ({
}: {
select: Map<DSElement, DSBoundingRect>; // the elements and their bounds that are supposed to be selected
unselect: Map<DSElement, DSBoundingRect>; // the elements and their bounds that are supposed to be de-selected (or un-selected)
selectorRect: DSBoundingRect; // the bounds of the selector element
}) => ({ select, unselect }); // it expects you to return an object that holds the select and unselect keys of same type as the arguments

Use the .filterSelected()

Now that we know how the method looks like, we can use it:

// initialize like you do before
const ds = new DragSelect({})

// then you can override the exposed internal method
ds.Selection.filterSelected = ({ selectorRect, select: _select, unselect: _unselect }: {
}) => {
// here we just re-assign the maps to new variables so we can modify them without changing the original ones
const select = new Map(_select), unselect = new Map(_unselect)
// now we can do whatever, in this example we just filter out all elements that have a red color style if there is more than five selected elements in total
select.forEach((boundingRect, element) => {
if( === 'red' && select.size > 5) {
unselect.set(element, boundingRect)
// we return the modified maps
return { select, unselect }

That’s it, you’ve successfully overwritten a method to add your custom filter to the selection logic. Now go celebrate that you’ve just learned something new! 🎉