So I am designing a form where the user enters in an ip address and can either use just the IP address, enter in a range, or a netmask. My initial thought was to grey out the second form on the "none" option, but since this form can be one of two options, I was wondering how to properly define the second textbox. Using the words "netmask" or "to" makes sense for the two options, but what do I put for the "none" option. I added a mock-up below:

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I am not a fan of making the form invisible, however I cant figure out a way to properly implement while greying out the second form on "none"

3 Answers 3


If the order is not important and the layout can be redefined, I would reverse the positions leaving the empty space for an introduction of the action to perform:

enter image description here

  • This is pretty confusing; I think "From" shouldn't leave the place where it's expected for the next two options. People could then very easily misread the "To" and "Netmask" fields in the next options. Sep 20, 2022 at 7:13
  • What about switching the location of the "select one of the followng IP options" and the "from" textbox? This way the from textbox will always be in the same spot @ArkanTanriwa
    – Gene
    Sep 20, 2022 at 16:28

I designed something like this before. I just put a text below that says 'The To: field can be left empty'


I'm not sure this helps, but one thing that's disconnected is that the settings which change the form are off to the right, so my eye keeps jumping from the setting, then back to the form changes, which also changes the Labels.

Could you bake in the choice with the label? That way the UI reads as one thing from left to right:

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And rather than gray out the extra form field, 'IP only' implies there's nothing else.

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