Editing and Manipulation

Editing and Manipulation considers the behaviors that result in persistent changes to user’s stored information. Behaviors in this layer can often be recognized by the following traits: they result in persistent, stored changes; they require an implicit or explicit save operation; and they typically require validation of the input data.


  • Radio buttons - Use radio buttons for selection of 1 out of a few items.
  • Check boxes - Use one or more check box for clear options or to select items out of a small number of options.
  • Drop-down - Use a drop-down list for selection of 1 out of a small number of items.
  • Combo box - Use a combo box to select 1 out of a small number of items where users should be able to add items.
  • List view - Use a list view to select 1 singular item out of a potentially big list.
  • Dual list pattern - Apply the dual list pattern for several selections out of a large number of (multiple) items.

Unconstrained input

  • Line edit - Use a line edit to enter one line of text.
  • Text edit - Use a text edit to enter multiple lines of texts.
  • Table view - Use a table view to arrange data in rows and columns with inline editing feature.

Constrained input

  • Spin box - Use a spin box for numerical input within a range and with fix steps.
  • Slider - Use a slider for arbitrary changes within a defined range.
  • Slider and spin box pattern - Apply the slider and spin box pattern for numeric input with both large changes and precise control.
  • Date and time pickers - Use date and time pickers for formatted input of date, time of day, or periods etc.

Viewing vs Editing

  • Do not use input controls to present information primarily for viewing. See the Viewing vs Editing guidelines for more.

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