Control Choice - Do you use ComboBoxes instead of single-select List Boxes?

Last updated by RebeccaLiu over 11 years ago.See history

ComboBoxes are better than List Boxes for data entry because:

  • They occupy less screen space
  • They are less trouble to scroll through, owing to the fact that you can afford to have more room for the list (as it's collapsed most of the time)
  • As you can see in the figures below, using a combo also makes the required field indicator (*) easier to see.

Figure: Bad Example - Using list boxes

Figure: Good Example - Using ComboBoxes - takes up less screen space and the required field indication is easy to see

Note: When are single-select list boxes OK?

As mentioned before, there are exceptions to this rule. It would be hard to imagine the Include/Exclude boxes in the SQL Server Enterprise Manager's Server Registration Wizard being handled with ComboBoxes, for example.

Figure: Include/Exclude Listboxes are an example of a valid use for List Boxes

We have a program called SSW Code Auditor to check for this rule.
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