What is the proper name of the state for a button that is not hovered and not pressed?

I need it to properly describe this state in the code comments, named constants, etc.

I first used the word "Normal State", then thought about "Idle State", but don't like either.

  • 8
    What about simply default state ?
    – Sooraj
    Sep 22, 2015 at 12:18
  • Hm, default seems to be suitable...
    – johnfound
    Sep 22, 2015 at 14:00

5 Answers 5


I usually use the term neutral state in my code. "Default" doesn't capture the idea for me because a disabled or active state could be the "default" for certain elements, as @Devin noted. I prefer to reserve "default" for situations where there is an actual initial value of some kind associated with an element.

  • Regardless of the google authority and up votes, I decided to accept this answer, because "neutral" IMHO better describes that state of the button.
    – johnfound
    Sep 27, 2015 at 9:55
  • For what it's worth, I also think that "up" state as suggested by Jim Olson is a good solution, probably down to personal preference.
    – BMac
    Sep 28, 2015 at 20:26

It could be default and everybody would understand it, although it's not completely correct, because once the user interacts with the button (for example, it's pressed), then s/he may miss which status was the default.

Also, some applications have buttons with different statuses on load (for example, ACTIVE status) , so for that button, the default would be active, which of course is not correct.

In short, the answer is as simple as NORMAL. See examples below:

From Material design enter image description here enter image description here

Other UI examples: enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

But again: default is understandable. You may also find this state named as idle, static or base as well (and probably in some other ways)


I guess simply default state would suit the button the most.

It may be a bit oversimplified , but perfectly matches the occasion since it is for commenting and the purpose is to convey the message.

By convention (during styling) we will refer to default style of a button and removing the default styles. So for even a naive user default will be perfectly understandable.

  • your quoted source says the exact opposite to your answer, that would be the main reason not to name the normal status as default: Different browsers use different default types for the element. Based on this, it's easy to see default applies to different states, thus it can't be applied to any single specific button state. This being said, the available types in that page are button, reset and submit, it has nothing to do with button statuses either
    – Devin
    Sep 23, 2015 at 17:33

It is also known as the "up" state.

This was implemented mostly by Adobe, with references to it in all version of Adobe Fireworks, as well as since the beginning of Adobe Flash, and even currently with Adobe Edge. It is referenced in many UI books, usually reference as the four states of a button (up, over, down, disabled). Most tutorials at Lynda.com also reference it as an 'up' state when describing the stages of a button.

References: http://help.adobe.com/en_US/fireworks/cs/using/WS3f28b00cc50711d9-16018b4b133a47d3388-8000.html


.. There are plenty more sources but I am limited to only posting two...

  • My fault for not adding sources... He seemed to be asking for alternatives to "normal" and "idle". While vernacular is not set in stone, the buttons states of UP,DOWN,HOVER,DISABLED started being seen over 15 years ago and it wasn't until web 2.0 that new button states were required. Today, there are many more ways to interact with a button given the public has grown to accept more sophisticated ways. But 'UP' has been in use for a while. The argument of whether it is still valid or recognized is up to you, I was just providing another alternative for the naming convention.
    – Jim Olson
    Sep 24, 2015 at 14:01


However because pseudo-classes can be combined this is not a distinct exclusive state. This is why there is no pseudo-class to use as a name for this state.

In older systems "up" is the state name - this can be confusing too

That's why we end up calling it default.

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