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21.7.6 Button-Down Events

Click and drag events happen when the user releases a mouse button. They cannot happen earlier, because there is no way to distinguish a click from a drag until the button is released.

If you want to take action as soon as a button is pressed, you need to handle button-down events.1 These occur as soon as a button is pressed. They are represented by lists that look exactly like click events (see Click Events), except that the event-type symbol name contains the prefix β€˜down-’. The β€˜down-’ prefix follows modifier key prefixes such as β€˜C-’ and β€˜M-’.

The function read-key-sequence ignores any button-down events that don’t have command bindings; therefore, the Emacs command loop ignores them too. This means that you need not worry about defining button-down events unless you want them to do something. The usual reason to define a button-down event is so that you can track mouse motion (by reading motion events) until the button is released. See Motion Events.

  1. Button-down is the conservative antithesis of drag.↩