I am having a user enter search terms to search a document.

The issue of how to have them determine if that term is case senstive when being used.

OPTION 1 - I was thinking to make it a dropdown combobox (Not Case sensitive is default) that way users not using a mouse can easily select it.

OPTION 2- I was also debating on putting Case Sensitive with a ON/OFF switch before it

OPTION 3- The last idea was I had was radio buttons was thinking one and you either click the circle or not (it seemed weird having 2 like case sensitive and not case sensitive)

i would add a little help icon to the right as i have been more of a fan of them than tool-tip explaining what it does.

any ideas on research or key principles for which option is the most appropriate? also any way to remove the help icon or tool tip? (not sure if i should get rid of this part because it might be interpreted as 2 questions in one post)

  • Based only on past experience, in any search I recall where case sensitivity was an option, it was a checkbox.
    – DA01
    Commented Sep 11, 2013 at 20:14
  • thanks ! i originally had a toggle and i think ill go with the checkbox because it looks slightly cleaner and i will use my motivation to conform to existing conventions Commented Sep 11, 2013 at 20:26

1 Answer 1


Microsoft uses a checkbox for "Match case" throughout the Office Suite, and Visual Studio:

enter image description here

A checkbox makes sense; it is an option to either do or not do.

An On/Off switch works fine too; it has the same functionality as a checkbox. I would advice you to not use the combobox, as that hides the options, and you would have to click it only to find an extra "not", something the checkbox or the On/Off switch conveys directly, visually. Using one radio button, as you suggest, breaks its convention. What you describe in your Option 3 is a checkbox.

  • thanks for the quick reply ! I didnt like the combobox myself but i listed it first to not let my personal opinion influence other peoples when reading the question Commented Sep 11, 2013 at 20:23
  • Also see this answer: ux.stackexchange.com/questions/20175/…
    – JOG
    Commented Sep 11, 2013 at 20:31

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