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Use Check Boxes for Multiple Selections

Document Type: Standard


HHS must use a check box control to allow users to select two or more items from a list of possible choices. In addition, a control that allows users to clear checked box selections must also be provided.

Also, users should be able to select an option by clicking on either the box itself or its label.


Users should be able to select each check box independently of all other check boxes. One study showed that for making multiple selections from a list of non-mutually exclusive items, check boxes elicit the fastest performance and are preferred over all other widgets.

By providing users with a larger click zone area that extends to the label and the check box, they are faster at making the selection.  This is especially true for older adults.


An Open or Drop-Down list may be used for longer lists. See related standards for more details.