Question re: multiple Radio Buttons


A window with 5 Radio Buttons


The question:
Is there a simple way to ensure a user can only click one of the buttons other than programmatically “turning off” the one’s not clicked on?

eg. user clicks on btnTwo then changes mind and clicks on btnFour.
btnTwo must now be “turned off”.

This would also apply to multiple check boxes.

Thanks for your help.

Radio buttons with the same parent will behave as you describe. So if you assign them to the same window or page panel for example you will get this behavior automatically.

Checkboxes are designed to allow multiple selections and are not normally used in this way.
If you must use the checkbox in this way you will have to manage them programmatically.


A very common method is to use groupBox as parent. But a simple Canvas, a Rectangle can do.

Thanks guys, question answered :slight_smile:

[quote=287266:@Jim Shaffer]Checkboxes are designed to allow multiple selections and are not normally used in this way.
If you must use the checkbox in this way you will have to manage them programmatically.[/quote]
What Jim said, except I’m going to explicitly tell you do not do that with checkboxes.

Hi Tim/all, I do understand the fundamental use differences between check boxes and radio buttons; however, I am not one to simply accept such a statement as “do not do that” without some form of reasoning to support it. Kindly elaborate.

Scroll down to where they talk about radio buttons vs check boxes & they say
“Use radio buttons, not checkboxes, to provide a set of choices from which users can choose only one. To learn more about using radio buttons in your app, see Radio Buttons.”

User have become accustomed to radio buttons being a “choose one” UI element and check boxes as “choose one or more” type element
Not adhering to this will possibly frustrate & confuse people

It should be said that in UI design, there is no absolute. There are cases, most notably in question forms, where a checkbox can be exclusive of another, effectively working like radio buttons.

But in general, users will expect checkboxes to enable multiple choices.

Overall, UI design is less about what should or should not be done than about avoiding to confuse users.

Now we have recommendations from Apple linked by Norman, and from Microsoft, linked by me. Both say the same. :slight_smile:

Thanks y’all for the feedback. I am fully aware of what has been said as I’ve been working with Windows since it came out as well as been a Windows and other Microsoft apps instructor since that time. By nature I question any statement someone makes such as “don’t do that” without a reason. Why? Because perhaps they have some new information to share that I don’t know about or perhaps they are just “going by what other’s say”.

Having said that, I still am amazed at the numbers of people who have limited knowledge of working with computers, not to mention those who do and their lack of understanding the aforementioned as well as their lack of knowing what things are named. Dialog?? what’s that? Apply and then OK… why? LOL

'nuff said on the topic.