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Motif and CDE 2.1 Style Guide

Setting Values

The following controls allow the user to set values other than entering text:

Radio Button

The user presses a radio button to display mutually exclusive value choices that have an on or off state. Within a group, the user can turn on at most one radio button at a time. When the user chooses a radio button, any previously chosen radio button within the group turns off.

You should use a radio button when you want the user to make a mutually exclusive choice, for example, to choose among available pen widths in a drawing program..
View figure.

For more information, see the Properties (Choice)

Radio Button (Control) reference pages.

Check Box

A check box has two states: on and off. Occasionally there is an indeterminate third state. A check box is sometimes called a check button.

You should use a check box when you want to display choices that have two clearly discernible states and, possibly, an indeterminate third state.

The check box appears in the indeterminate state when its value reflects a property of selected data that is not completely in either state. For example, if the user selects a section of text where some characters are bold and some are not, a bold check box will show an intermediate state. The user can reset the check box to remove the bold, check the box to make all characters bold, or leave the check box in the indeterminate state to leave the text as is..
View figure.

For more information, see the Check Box (Control) reference page.


A slider is a control that represents a bounded value. A slider typically shows a scale marked in equal units from which the user can select a particular value from within a slider's boundary..
View figure.

For more information, see the Slider (Control) reference page.

Value Set

A value set is a matrix of mutually exclusive choices that are represented graphically. The value set is similar in concept to a group of radio buttons and primarily presents graphical representations of choices, for example, tools in a palette..
View figure.

For more information, see the Value Set (Control) reference page.

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