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XAML for Windows 8 offers 3 controls for toggling: toggle button, check box and toggle switch.

visual example of all three toggle controls

The Windows 8 UX guidelines explain and compare the check box and the toggle switch, but make no mention of the toggle button.

How and when do I use it? Should I use it at all, considering the – in my opinion – lower affordance and discoverability? What are its pros and cons?

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switches have affordance problems, they imply click, drag and slide –  Toni Leigh Feb 18 at 7:20

3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

A toggle button usually makes the most sense when you have a number of buttons to choose between. Something like a set of radio buttons in interaction.

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Otherwise, one toggle button on its own isn't clear in terms of either interaction or affordance, and the other options are better choices.

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+1 Toggle buttons should come in three's at least. Having two toggle buttons isn't any clearer than one in terms of interaction and affordance. Same with radio groups of two options. I never know which one is selected and which one isn't. –  Marjan Venema May 29 '13 at 19:57

Explicit labeling should help you out here. When you have multiple toggle buttons, it is quite important that they appear visually related (in a group).

When using a stand alone toggle button, have a label to make it explicit that it is a toggle and highlight/de-highlight the state of the button according to your visual theme. Rather than just putting it in a 'white state', grey out the off state since if is quite similar to 'disabling'.


download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

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From what I've seen, switches are used more for persistent system settings, whereas toggles are more contextual. So a switch might turn a service on or off, accessed from a settings panel but taking effect everywhere, while a toggle will act on the content that is currently in focus.

Toggles do not need to be offered in groups. There are several valid examples of singular toggle buttons, such as "like", "favourite", or the bold format button on your word processor's toolbar.

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Please give more reasoning behind your statements so that readers can see why you state that. –  JohnGB Feb 18 at 1:06

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