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I believe the usual justification is to prevent folks from copying and pasting the content so that they don't steal it. I usually roll my eyes at this because if a user really wants that text, you can get it one way or another, even with selection disabled. I came across another example: a developer wanted to disable selection because double-clicking a ...
It's a myth that selectable text is "costless" As a general principle you are right that text should be selectable. That said, since you're asking about non-selectable text, here are some cases to be aware of for disabling text selection. There are visual elements containing text that users don't expect to be selectable. For example: Let's walk through ...
There is a reason when disabling the selection of text makes sense, and that is if selection of text could interfere with functional aspects of the UI. For example, it is frequently used on widgets that are draggable because you want to avoid that the user accidentally selects text when he intends to drag.
Disabling selectable text is horrible UX for non-native speakers of the language the text is written in, who may rely on copy-and-paste to automated translation software or website to make sense of the text. This is becoming less of an issue with ubiquitous smartphones with high-quality cameras and OCR translation apps, but I believe it's still relevant.
The simple answer to this question is NEVER. Restricting the ability to select text won't keep competitors from stealing your content but it will make it virtually impossible for customers to easily share it.
Generally, there are two reasons: Clarity It's odd to have the text of a button or dropdown selectable. It'd be confusing for my cursor to turn to a beam, as if the primary interaction I will have is selecting/editing the text that is there. You could have an arrow cursor and still have it selectable, but that's weird too. Polish Selectable text is the ...
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