After some weeks of dealing with jquery and the rectangle function i released earlier i wrote a new and cleaner version, renamed it to YDRjRectangle and put it into a plugin like shape, so everyone can implement further functionality for selecting objects or do other customizing to fit its needs.
If you want to use a technique like click & drag/mouse move you should get the disabletextselect plugin from jdempster, to get rid of unwanted text selection while drawing your div rectangle.
New Version here -> YDRjRectangle – JQuery rectangle selection – new version
Do you know the rectangle selection tool in photoshop to select different pixels of an image? I want to have something similar on my website for different scenarios, like cropping parts out of an image or select a couple of elements inside a table or something like that. I found some plugins that could do this job, but they are using a image as "frame" where you can select some pixels and crop the image and thats it. I needed something similar to select any kind of dom object within a defined area so I started to develop a small implementation for this idea.
The first thing I wanted to do was drawing an image to get a animated, dashed rectangle, that looks like the one in photoshop, but it was a bit too oversized for my project so I started playing around with a div element, that has a dynamic width and height and fetches to the cursor and gives the user a known selecting experience.
What I did was creating a "frame" object where the selection can take place and added a hidden div object within this frame. I used an opacity of 40% and a thin 2px white border for the selection div to get a nice looking selection object.
The next step was writing some small functions for resizing the selection div element to imitate the selection behaviour. The whole resizing is done by mouse eventhandler on the initial selection frame.