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Radio button

Use radio buttons when you have a group of mutually exclusive choices and only one selection from the group is allowed.

Overview

Radio buttons are used for mutually exclusive choices, not for multiple choices. Only one radio button can be selected at a time. When a user chooses a new item, the previous choice is automatically deselected.

When to use

Form

Can be used in forms on a full page, in modals, or on side panels.

Settings

Used to change from one setting to another in a menu, page, or component.

Selection in lists

Used to choose a singular item within data tables or lists.

Example of radio buttons in a form

When not to use

If a user can select many option from a list, use checkboxes instead of radio buttons. Radio buttons allow the user to select only one item in a set whereas checkboxes allow the user to select multiple options.

Do use checkboxes when multiple items can be selected.

Do use checkboxes when multiple items can be selected.

Don't use radio buttons when multiple items can be selected.

Don't use radio buttons when multiple items can be selected.

Live demo

RadioButtonGroup
orientation
labelPosition

Formatting

Anatomy

The radio button component is comprised of a set of clickable circles (the inputs) with text labels positioned to the right. If there is a group of radio buttons, a group label can be added.

Anatomy of radio buttons
  1. Radio button group label (optional): Describes the group of options or provides guidance for making a selection.
  2. Radio button input: A radio button indicating the appropriate state. By default an option is selected.
  3. Radio button label: Describes the information you want to select or unselect.

Alignment

Radio button labels are positioned to the right of their inputs in languages that read left to right. If there is a radio button grouping, they can be laid out vertically or horizontally depending on the use case and the structure of the UI. When possible, arrange the radio button and checkbox groups vertically for easier reading.

Vertically stacked versus horizontal alignment

Vertically stacked versus horizontal alignment

For languages that read right to left, it’s acceptable to place labels to the left of the inputs.

Example of radio buttons for languages that read right to left instead of left to right

Example of radio buttons for languages that read right to left instead of left to right

Placement

The radio button component is often used in forms. Forms can be placed on a full page, in a modal, or in a side panel. A radio button can also be used for changing settings in a menu or selecting a singular item in a data table.

Placement of radio buttons

Radio buttons in a form should be placed at least 32px (layout-03) below or before the next component. Spacing of 24px (layout-02) or 16px (layout-01) can also be used when space is more restricted or if the form is more complex.

For more information on spacing in forms, see our form style guidance.

Spacing between a radio button and other components in a form

Spacing between a radio button and other components in a form

Content

Main elements

Group labels (optional)

If necessary, a heading can accompany a set of radio buttons to provide further context or clarity.

  • A group label can either state the category of the grouping or describe what actions to take below.
  • Use sentence case for group labels.
  • In some cases, a group of radio buttons may be within a larger group of components that already have a group label. In this case, an additional group label for the radio button component itself is not needed.
  • Regardless of whether the label is visible in the interface, a group label is always needed in code, whether it’s for one checkbox or a group of them. See the radio button code tab for more information.

Radio button labels

  • Always use clear and concise labels for radio buttons.
  • Be explicit about the results that will follow if the radio button is selected.
  • Labels appear to the right of radio button inputs.

Overflow content

  • We recommend radio button labels being fewer than three words.
  • If you are tight on space, consider rewording the label. Do not truncate radio button label text with an ellipsis.
  • Long labels may wrap to a second line, and this is preferable to truncation.
  • Text should wrap beneath the radio button so the control and label are top aligned.
Spacing between a radio button and other components in a form
Do let text wrap beneath the radio button so the control and label are top aligned.

Do let text wrap beneath the radio button so the control and label are top aligned.