I believe it is designed that way to prevent accidental repositioning the graduated filter. The first mouse click "selects" the graduated filter, but doesn't allow any movement.
It sounds like you are copying and pasting (or synching) more than one (1) graduated filter. I'm not sure what you are trying to accomplish by "pasting the same graduated filter arrangement across several hundred action photos," but I have two suggestions that may be helpful:
1) Create graduated filter "presets" and apply them individually to each image file. This allows you to do the positioning "real-time."
2) Select one (1) of the graduated filter you want to adjust in the first image. When you go to the next image(s) it will be selected as well and can be repositioned. You will need to do this for each graduated filter as an iterative process.
Unless the images are all very similar (same subject, camera settings, and lighting), I would opt for #1 above.
The images are very similar indoor sporting event shots with moving subjects against excessive backlighting. I use 3 burn filters to highlight/vignette the subject in what is a consistent triangular pattern. The only slight variation is the physical height of the subject and my positioning of the camera. This is a consistent need of mine whenever these events are indoors.
#2 sounds like it solves the problem.
I have no idea how to do a preset. I had no idea this even existed. It's like the keyword presets --they sound cool but they are not documented; I have no patience for searching the "Help", which too often turns up irrelevant information.
George in Seattle wrote:
I have no idea how to do a preset. I had no idea this even existed.
To create a new graduated filter preset make your settings adjustments, select 'Save Current Settings as New Preset' under 'Effect:', and then give it an identifying name.