I'm working on a Android project. I need to design 5 states of a button:

  • normal
  • focused
  • selected
  • pressed
  • disabled.

I do not understand the difference between pressed and selected. I have found that explanation:

Pressed – when a widget such as a button is clicked
Selected – when a widget is activated, such as the active tab on a tab control.

If a button is clicked/pressed, it is activated, not selected, that is right?

Unfortunately I'm working without the Android SDK for testing.

Can anyone explain that to me? Thanks

1 Answer 1


Check this out: http://developer.android.com/design/style/touch-feedback.html

It is the official documentation for TouchFeedback. There is no official selected state - at least for regular buttons. You can read all definitions for the different states there. It is about illumination and visibility grade.

Best regards Vince


enter image description here

In this example the first one is the selected state for the RadioButton, the second one the normal state

As the name says, it is about the selection - there are selected items and unselected items what works for tabs and much more, too (but not for simple buttons - that is why you can not find a selected state in Google's documentation.

  • Yeah, thanks. The Link to the developer site I did read before, but is was not helpful enough to me. Your Comment that you have never heard of selected state, was very helpful for me, thanks a lot,
    – Reggie
    Commented May 26, 2014 at 12:20
  • Hi Vince,but I am still a little bit confused..
    – Reggie
    Commented May 26, 2014 at 13:05
  • Hi Reggie! You' re welcome. Is it clear now? So just for summary: There is no selected state for regular buttons, but for tabs, radio-buttons and toggle-buttons and other elements - those which can be selected. For the toggle-button for example you might have a colored dot in that circle for being selected. Commented May 26, 2014 at 15:36

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