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Is is ok to use Select/Deselect All here or better to shorten it to only select all. Would the users know that if they uncheck the "select all" checkbox. Everything will be disselected

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I don't know whether or not every user would intuitively know that clearing a "Select All" check box would clear all the subsidiary check boxes, but a few seconds of using the UI will show them that it does. – ChrisF May 16 '12 at 8:40
related… – Adrien Be Jun 12 '14 at 15:13
up vote 5 down vote accepted

I think there are 2 possible confusions here:

  1. Putting two opposite labels (calls-to-action) on the same controller.
  2. Using a check-box controller for manipulating the UI rather then selecting multiple items, which is their intended purpose.

What I would do is make it a button (or a link if there's a more important button nearby). The button label (or link) should only be the available action: "Select All" if not all items are selected, and "Deselect All" otherwise.


download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

Edit: after showing this answer to a co-league, I want to point out that if there are a lot of check-boxes, it's worth having both buttons/links available (it can be exhausting to deselect dozens of check-boxes manually).

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I do like the idea of using a button rather than a checkbox for the (de)select all feature, however it can also work very nicely to use a checkbox. One idea, would be to simply help the user "visually identify" this special checkbox via styling (ie. a border surrounding the checkbox & its label), see how google mail does it – Adrien Be Jun 12 '14 at 14:59
Another note: your idea (a button vs a checkbox) to change a group of checkboxes states is used by modernizr - but to toggle (inverts states) checkbox rather than to (de)select all. see or directly on – Adrien Be Jun 12 '14 at 16:02

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