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A widget to prevent clicks from being swallowed by underlying HtmlElementViews on the web.

pointer_interceptor #

iOS Web
Support iOS 12+ Any

PointerInterceptor is a widget that prevents mouse events from being captured by an underlying HtmlElementView in web, or an underlying PlatformView on iOS.

What is the problem? #

When overlaying Flutter widgets on top of HtmlElementView/PlatformView widgets that respond to mouse gestures (handle clicks, for example), the clicks will be consumed by the HtmlElementView/PlatformView, and not relayed to Flutter.

The result is that Flutter widget's onTap (and other) handlers won't fire as expected, but they'll affect the underlying native platform view.

The problem...
Depiction of problematic areas
In the dashed areas, mouse events won't work as expected. The HtmlElementView will consume them before Flutter sees them.

How does this work? #

In web, PointerInterceptor creates a platform view consisting of an empty HTML element, while on iOS it creates an empty UIView instead. The element has the size of its child widget, and is inserted in the layer tree behind its child in paint order.

This empty platform view doesn't do anything with mouse events, other than preventing them from reaching other platform views underneath it.

This gives an opportunity to the Flutter framework to handle the click, as expected:

The solution...
Depiction of the solution
Each PointerInterceptor (green) renders between Flutter widgets and the underlying HtmlElementView. Mouse events now can't reach the background HtmlElementView, and work as expected.

How to use #

Some common scenarios where this widget may come in handy:

  • FAB unclickable in an app that renders a full-screen background Map
  • Custom Play/Pause buttons on top of a video element don't work
  • Drawer contents not interactive when it overlaps an iframe element
  • ...

All the cases above have in common that they attempt to render Flutter widgets on top of platform views that handle pointer events.

There's two ways that the PointerInterceptor widget can be used to solve the problems above:

  1. Wrapping your button element directly (FAB, Custom Play/Pause button...):

      child: ElevatedButton(...),
  2. As a root container for a "layout" element, wrapping a bunch of other elements (like a Drawer):

      drawer: PointerInterceptor(
        child: Drawer(
          child: ...

intercepting #

A common use of the PointerInterceptor widget is to block clicks only under certain conditions (isVideoShowing, isPanelOpen...).

The intercepting property allows the PointerInterceptor widget to render itself (or not) depending on a boolean value, instead of having to manually write an if/else on the Flutter App widget tree, so code like this:

if (someCondition) {
  return PointerInterceptor(
    child: ElevatedButton(...),
} else {
  return ElevatedButton(...),

can be rewritten as:

 return PointerInterceptor(
   intercepting: someCondition,
   child: ElevatedButton(...),

Note: when intercepting is false, the PointerInterceptor will not render anything in flutter, and just return its child. The code is exactly equivalent to the example above.

debug #

The PointerInterceptor widget has a debug property, that will render it visibly on the screen (similar to the images above).

This may be useful to see what the widget is actually covering when used as a layout element.