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How-To Copy and Paste Rows in Adobe Flex (Flash) DataGrid

Updated on September 28, 2011

Adobe Flex, including Flash, is an event based SDK. Its API includes and intensive Event methods besides providing the APIs to create custom events. A subject that often comes up in blogs is how to copy and paste data in a DataGrid. Let me tell that nothing could be easier, without needing to create any custom events or elaborate classes or other extensive code.

As part of the base Event class in the Adobe Flex API, a copy and paste events are provided. You simply need to add them the DataGrid through the addEventListener method which is available to all Flex components.

Here is the actual application

The Code

First, create a ArrayCollection: bookArr;;
Second, create a data object to contain the selected row data from the DataGrid;
Next, create a function initApp. Add this function to the ApplicationComplete event in the Application so that it sets up the data after the application is loaded;
In the initApp function, create an Array: books and add some content, see example;
Next, initialize the ArrayCollection: booksArr and add the books array to it;
Next and this is very important, add two eventListerners to your DataGrid: bookGrid with callback functions:

bookGrid.addEventListener(Event.COPY, copyRow);
bookGrid.addEventListener(Event.PASTE, pasteRow);

The copyRow will respond to any Event.COPY event taken while in the DataGrid. Likewise for Event.PASTE and the pasteRow.

copyRow Callback Function

In the next steps, create the copyRow function, taking an event parameter that will capture the event and the contents of the row that is copied when you ctrl+c (windows) or command+c (MAC)

protected function copyRow(event:Event):void
     data = bookArr.getItemAt(event.currentTarget.selectedIndex);

pasteRow Callback Function

There is very little code involved. When a user performs a copy from the keyboard, the data object is added to the data object variable corresponding to the row index, though “event.currentTarget.selectedIndex”

Next, when the user performs a paste event, ctrl+v (windows) or command+v (mac), the contents of the data object variable will be added to the grid at then end of the bookArr:

protected function pasteRow(event:Event):void

Here is the code:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<s:Application xmlns:fx="" 
			   xmlns:mx="library://" minWidth="955" minHeight="600"
				applicationComplete="initArr();" viewSourceURL="srcview/index.html">
<!-- Place non-visual elements (e.g., services, value objects) here -->
	import mx.collections.ArrayCollection;
	protected var bookArr:ArrayCollection;
	var data:Object;
	protected function initArr():void
	    var books:Array=new Array();
	    books = [{title:'Flex Examples',author:'Bob Goodbook', pub:'Good Book Publishing'},
			{title:'Flex Code',author:'Jane Words', pub:'Good Book Publishing'},
			{title:'Flash By the Numbers',author:'Dale Chapters', pub:'Another Leaf Publishing'},
			{title:'Flash Animation',author:'Geoff Somebody', pub:'New Publishing Co'}];
	    bookArr=new ArrayCollection(books);
	    bookGrid.addEventListener(Event.COPY, copyRow);
	    bookGrid.addEventListener(Event.PASTE, pasteRow);
	protected function copyRow(event:Event):void
	    data = bookArr.getItemAt(event.currentTarget.selectedIndex);
	protected function pasteRow(event:Event):void
<s:Panel x="65" y="82" width="646" height="345">
   <mx:DataGrid x="31" y="35" width="585" height="234" id="bookGrid" dataProvider="{bookArr}">
	    <mx:DataGridColumn headerText="Title" dataField="title"/>
	    <mx:DataGridColumn headerText="Author" dataField="author"/>
	    <mx:DataGridColumn headerText="Publisher" dataField="pub"/>

<s:Label x="65" y="36" text="Adobe Flex Copy &amp; Paste Example" 
            fontSize="14" fontWeight="bold"/>

As you can see there is very little code needed to enable and use the Copy & Paste functionality in Adobe Flex.


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