I'm working on an implementation of a "checkbox grid" in ExtJS. It's just a table with a checkbox on each row, and the user can act on multiple items at once.

There's a simple version of what it looks like below, but I recommend looking at this working example because it's important to note how it functions.


download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

If you looked at the working example linked above, you'll notice that clicking on the row's checkbox lets the user select multiple at once. But clicking on the row will only select one at a time - you have to hold shift or some modifier key to select multiple if you aren't clicking on the checkbox.

So here's the question: is this a good idea, to have the table act differently if the row is clicked on vs the checkbox itself?

On one hand, it feels natural when clicking on the row to unselect any other rows. But on the other hand, if you're selecting a bunch of rows with the checkbox, it's really easy to accidentally mis-click and totally mess up your selected items.

3 Answers 3


If you check the 10 items you really wants and by mistake click outside the checkbox it unselect everything and select only one row.

It's going to be annoying specially on mobile devices where accurate click position is not so easy to achieve.

As the click row could be useful (if selecting one row is common usage) I suggest very small modification. When 2 items are checked simply disable the "click the row select only current row". After you may choose that clicking the row toggle the check or not, it depends of what you need.


No. And this frustrates me as a SharePoint consultant. Clicking the text gets you to another action window than clicking on the row (where there is no text). Clicking the row, and not the text enables actions in the ribbon, which isn't the case if you click the text.

So please, use the same actions clicking the row, the text or the checkbox.


I agree with @ColdCat there's a strong possibility of unwanted clicks or touches outside the checkbox area and in case you have like 100 items selected you can lose all your 10 minutes of careful selection with one single click. Which will be extremely annoying and will form a bad attitude towards whole GUI ... which is pretty neat btw ;)

I say if you really really really need this feature you can go for it BUT first you need to show user exactly how it works and what will happen if she clicks outside the checkbox. Like a two step tutorial like:

Step 1. To check rows please click on a corresponding checkbox
Step 2. To deselect all selected rows click on any of the rows

And answering your question: I am strongly against this behavior ))

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