How to copy and paste an item within the same container without wasting all of my time

Dave shared this problem 4 years ago

I have an image that is nested not-so-very deeply:


The image is positioned with the "parent group", which is positioned within the "ancestor group," which is positioned within the "Layer", which appears within the "root-level dynamic panel", which is, itself, positioned. That is, the image is not at position 0,0 of anything, it is where I want it to be, because I spent time putting it there.

I want to copy the "subject image" and paste it, creating a new image such that:

1) It is a sibling of the "subject image," within the same "parent group"

2) It is located near where the original image appears, perhaps offset by some known amount, say 10px down and to the right.

Instead, the new image is:

1) Located at the root of the entire document, at the very top of a (very long and annoyingly difficult/slow to scroll) outline

2) Located at 0,0 on the canvas.

I have tried dragging the image into the "parent group" in the outline. This has the very annoying result of moving the rest of the contents of the group out of sight, down and to the right, apparently by the absolute position of the group on the canvas.

To deal with this, I memorized the (now changed!) position of the "subject image" and typed it into the Left and Top fields of the properties of the newly-pasted image, with the result that now, the newly-pasted image is ALSO invisible, positioned down and to the right with the rest of the contents of the group.

To deal with this, I discovered that selecting the newly-pasted image in the outline and nudging it back and forth by 1px (say left, then right) brings everything back into view, and leaves the newly-pasted image aligned with the "subject image" (which is what I wanted in the first place, but hadn't figured on spending a minute or two doing it).

This is a real waste of my time, particularly as I have several dozen such images to copy and paste.

Is there a way that this can be sped up so that I don't have to explain to my team that I spent an entire day moving icons around in an outline and on the canvas?

Comments (10)


I added the following depiction of why this is wasting so much time:

A simple copy-and-paste operation ends up taking 11 steps, made more difficult by things like Fitts's Law vs. the tiny, tiny fields in the property editor, and so forth:

Select and copy a widget ← Not waste :-)

Paste ← Not waste :-)

Select the pasted widget, now located at the top of the outline, and at (0,0) ← WASTE

Drag the pasted widget BACK INTO the group from which it was copied ← WASTE

BONUS WASTE: The outline does not scroll upwards when you drag an item to the bottom, so you have to simultaneously drag the item and scroll the outline — hope you have a scroll wheel!

DOUBLE BONUS WASTE: As you drag the pasted item down the outline, if you pause for even a moment, dynamic panels and goups will open themselves "for" you so that your trip down the outline becomes even longer!

Pause for a brief moment of panic as you see that the entire contents of your group are now shifted down and to the right by however far they group is from (0,0), requiring all of the following steps to repair:

Click another widget within the group and memorize the Left and Top location ← WASTE

Click in the teeny-tiny Left property field ← WASTE

BONUS WASTE: Wait, you didn't already have the property panel selected? You get to waste time opening it, too!

Type the Left property you memorized in step 5 ← WASTE

Press Tab to move the text input to the Top property field ← WASTE

BONUS WASTE: You have to manually select contents of the field (usually, "0") before you can enter a value, at least until this request is acted upon.

Type the Top property value you memorized in step 5 ← WASTE

In the outline, click the widget you just repositioned (because focus is on the Top property field, not the widget) ← WASTE

Nudge it left, then right or up, then down so that the canvas updates itself, bringing the contents of the group back where they belong. ← WASTE

Now, and only now, is the pasted widget really ready to use: edit its ID, change its contents, position it exactly where you want it, and so forth.

This process should take 2 steps:

1) Select and copy ← not waste :-)

2) Paste and see the element, perhaps offset (10,10) from the original. ← not waste :-)

Thank you.


Working on it. The main problem is that copy and paste doesn't work well in groups inside other groups. The scroll while dragging it's already fixed for the next update.


Thank you, Victor.

Given how complex it was merely to describe, I can imagine it will be far more complex to resolve. If there's anything I can do to help, please feel free to ask.

Glad to hear that dragging in the outline is being improved.


We're about to launch an update that will fix most of the things described in this ticket. Do you mind to try a Beta version and verify if it has been fixed? You can download the beta from here:



Due to company meetings during this week, I didn't see this message until just now. In the interim, you released 6.1.1. I will report back if it works, so that you can be confident that it's fully fixed. Thanks.




It seems to be fixed.

I have tried copying and pasting in a couple of relatively deeply-nested groups (sometimes within dynamic panels nested within dynamic panels, etc), and so far, it appears to be working.

You've saved me a lot of time with this fix!


Cool! We will focus on the performance now but we're going to keep fixing this like this in the updates to come. Thanks for your help!


As you may be able to tell by the number of issues I file, I am, if anything, maybe a little _too_ happy to help.


That's extremely helpful for us. We're humble enough to accept the frustration of seeing so many bugs showing up.