Last updated May 19, 2012. Created by Sutharsan on March 1, 2009.
Edited by cameroncb1, ximo, joachim, Bojhan. Log in to edit this page.

Problem

The user needs to select zero, one, or more options from a pre-defined set.

Solution

Checkboxes:
Screenshot of checkboxes at node creation page

Stand-alone checkbox:
Screenshot of a stand-alone checkbox on the account settings page

Use when

  • Multiple checkboxes are appropriate when the user needs to select zero, one, or multiple options.
  • A stand-alone checkbox is suitable whenever a user should be permitted to turn a single option on or off.

Recommendations

  • If you have a large number of checkbox options, a select list with the #multiple property may be an alternative (but this does not provide a very agreeable user experience, since users may not know how to select more than one item presented in this way — look for other ways to achieve the required functionality).
  • If labels for the description items in a stand-alone checkbox cannot readily include the words true/false or enable/disable, then it is better to use two radio buttons instead.

Wording of labels and descriptions

The label for a checkbox should be a statement or a descriptive phrase. Avoid beginning the label text with "Enable …" or "Is…", and do not end with a question mark. Avoid negative expressions such as "Don't show this on the page", as that means the user has to make sense of a double negative.

Avoid beginning the description text with "Select to…" or "Choose to…". These are redundant words that adds waffle in front of the important, meaningful parts.

API

Checkboxes: Drupal 7, Drupal 6
Stand-alone checkbox: Drupal 7, Drupal 6

Looking for support? Visit the Drupal.org forums, or join #drupal-support in IRC.