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I have a table of files which are grouped by file type:

enter image description here

The user can select rows by clicking. If a group header is selected (4 XLSX files), then all XLSX files will be selected. Multiple rows can be selected by Ctrl-clicking or Shift-clicking.

What if the user selects multiple lines with Shift-click and one of the lines is a group header. Should this cause to select the whole group, too, or deselect that header instead.

  1. A or B?

  2. The group headers can be collapsed. What should happen if a collapsed group is selected?

enter image description here

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At first B sims more intuitive, your selection is stoping where you pointed at, but...

Let's imagine a scenario: A user wants to select 2 files form XLSX and one from DOCX. Ho often it will happen that this files are neighbours? When I selecting files on my computers I usually have them in alphabetical order and give them similar names to make it possible. You need to have an order in your folders and files names to keep it possible, so I think such situation will happen rarely.

Another scenario: Selecting all files from few different types. If users don't keep too many file types in one folder, then we can safely say that it is possible that the types are neighbours. The question is how often this pattern of selecting will happen? Also user can easily select them by crtl.

If you headings won't select then collapsing makes a difference. enter image description here In second image none of ODT fils is selected. IF we can collapse fills we don't want selected, then it is more possible that shift between types will be used. You can then turn this files into neighbours.

You can hint user about this behavior by selecting the headings once all of the files are selected. enter image description here Sumarizing: Option B, because user is stoping where he pointed, and because collapsing change fills selecting.

  • Thanks, I wasn't really thinking about making different behaviour for collapsed and expanded groups, but it does make sense. Thanks! – tamasrell Jun 21 at 12:46
  • I will also make a difference if the group is directly shift-clicked or if it just falls between the two clicks. – tamasrell Jun 21 at 13:00
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You might need a second element to show the partly selected state. Something like this: enter image description here

This way it is clear that only a part of the XLSX files are selected even if the node is collapsed.

  • I already added checkboxes :-) but it doesn't help to solve shift-click behaviour. However it does help to give a better feedback on what is selected. Thanks! – tamasrell Jun 21 at 12:48

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