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Moving the location of a graph point interactively

I want to give the user the ability to drag a point on a line graph either up or down, thereby changing the underlying y-axis data (what if analysis). This would then change other charts on the dashboard.

Is this type of interactivity possible through Dash (clicking on and moving a point)? If not what would be the best route to attempt to accomplish this?


1 Like

This is sort-of possible by using a shapes object in a dcc.Graph (see https://plot.ly/python/shapes/) and making the graph “editable” by setting dcc.Graph(editable=True, ...).

Note that the points themselves inside data aren’t editable or draggable but objects inside shapes are. Also note that the type: 'circle' isn’t a good candidate for this as per https://github.com/plotly/plotly.js/issues/2193.

Here is an example that uses a 'type': 'line' and listens to the relayoutData property of the dcc.Graph. This example was adapted from the examples in https://plot.ly/dash/interactive-graphing

import json
from textwrap import dedent as d
import dash
from dash.dependencies import Input, Output
import dash_core_components as dcc
import dash_html_components as html

app = dash.Dash(__name__)
app.css.append_css({'external_url': 'https://codepen.io/chriddyp/pen/dZVMbK.css'})

styles = {'pre': {'border': 'thin lightgrey solid', 'overflowX': 'scroll'}}

app.layout = html.Div(className='row', children=[
        className='six columns',
            'data': [{
                'x': [1, 2, 3, 4],
                'y': [4, 1, 3, 5],
                'text': ['a', 'b', 'c', 'd'],
                'customdata': ['c.a', 'c.b', 'c.c', 'c.d'],
                'name': 'Trace 1',
                'mode': 'markers',
                'marker': {
                    'size': 12
            }, {
                'x': [1, 2, 3, 4],
                'y': [9, 4, 1, 4],
                'text': ['w', 'x', 'y', 'z'],
                'customdata': ['c.w', 'c.x', 'c.y', 'c.z'],
                'name': 'Trace 2',
                'mode': 'markers',
                'marker': {
                    'size': 12
            'layout': {
                'shapes': [{
                    'type': 'line',

                    'x0': 0,
                    'x1': 1,
                    'xref': 'paper',

                    'y0': 3,
                    'y1': 3,
                    'yref': 'y',

                    'line': {
                        'width': 4,
                        'color': 'rgb(30, 30, 30)'
            'editable': True,
            'edits': {
                'shapePosition': True
        className='six columns',
                **Zoom and Relayout Data**

                    html.Pre(id='relayout-data', style=styles['pre']),

    Output('relayout-data', 'children'),
    [Input('basic-interactions', 'relayoutData')])
def display_selected_data(relayoutData):
    return json.dumps(relayoutData, indent=2)

if __name__ == '__main__':

One of the best ways to explore what’s possible with shapes is to use Chart Studio (https://plot.ly/create). Here’s an example:

The other option would be to provide a couple of input boxes or even an interactive DataTable and allow the user to edit the points of the chart itself. See usage-editable.py in https://github.com/plotly/dash-table-experiments


Thanks so much for the excellent write up on this.

We ended up going a different route and using plotly directly for a simple javascript page and using the d3 drag, based off of this example:

If we want to get this back to python the thought is we’d create a custom dash component, haven’t done that yet.

1 Like

Wow, that is awesome @wcoop! :tada:

Yeah - you could start by forking dash-core-components and using the existing Graph.react.js component: https://github.com/plotly/dash-core-components/blob/25e8e83f0195152a9e769b128ccc21674179a2e6/src/components/Graph.react.js

plotly.js v1.36.0 (expected release next week) supports fixed-pixel-size, data-referenced shapes, for use cases like this - see https://github.com/plotly/plotly.js/pull/2532


@criddyp Thanks for sharing how to add a moveable line! Is there a way to restrict it to only move horizontally? I’d like a vertical bar that spans the height of the graph that can only move right and left.