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Radio button

Radio buttons allow users to select exactly one choice from a group.

Examples

Radio button list

A ChoiceList component can be used to render a radio button group or checkbox group. Use the type prop to specify the type of field to display.

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Radio button children

Radio buttons can have optional checked or unchecked children that are conditionally shown based on the state of the checkbox.

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Code

React

Radio buttons can be managed as a group using <ChoiceList> or individually using <Choice>.

Note that any undocumented props that you pass to a <Choice> or choices will be passed to the input element, so you can use this to set additional attributes if necessary.

<ChoiceList> component

React Properties Documentation
NameTypeDefaultDescription
choicesrequiredChoiceProps[]

Array of Choice data objects to be rendered.

classNamestring

Additional classes to be added to the root element.

disabledboolean

Disables the entire field.

errorMessageReact.ReactNode
errorMessageClassNamestring

Additional classes to be added to the error message

errorPlacement'top' | 'bottom'

Location of the error message relative to the field input

hintReact.ReactNode

Additional hint text to display

requirementLabelReact.ReactNode

Text showing the requirement ("Required", "Optional", etc.). See Required and Optional Fields.

inversedboolean

Applies the "inverse" UI theme

labelrequiredReact.ReactNode

Label for the field

labelClassNamestring

Additional classes to be added to the FormLabel.

namerequiredstring

The field's name attribute

onBlur(...args: any[]) => any

Called anytime any choice is blurred

onComponentBlur(...args: any[]) => any

Called when any choice is blurred and the focus does not land on one of the other choices inside this component (i.e., when the whole component loses focus)

onChange(...args: any[]) => any
sizeliteral

Sets the size of the checkbox or radio button

typerequired'checkbox' | 'radio'

Sets the type to render checkbox fields or radio buttons

<Choice> component

React Properties Documentation
NameTypeDefaultDescription
checkedboolean

Sets the input's checked state. Use this in combination with onChange for a controlled component; otherwise, set defaultChecked.

checkedChildrenReact.ReactNode

Content to be shown when the choice is checked. See Checked children and the expose within pattern on the Guidance tab for detailed instructions.

uncheckedChildrenReact.ReactNode

Content to be shown when the choice is not checked

classNamestring

Additional classes to be added to the root div element.

inputClassNamestring

Additional classes to be added to the input element.

labelReact.ReactNode

Label text or HTML.

labelClassNamestring

Additional classes to be added to the FormLabel.

defaultCheckedboolean

Sets the initial checked state. Use this for an uncontrolled component; otherwise, use the checked property.

disabledboolean
errorMessageReact.ReactNode
errorMessageClassNamestring

Additional classes to be added to the error message

inputRef(...args: any[]) => any

Access a reference to the input element

hintReact.ReactNode

Additional hint text to display below the choice's label

idstring

A unique ID to be used for the input field, as well as the label's for attribute. A unique ID will be generated if one isn't provided.

requirementLabelReact.ReactNode

Text showing the requirement ("Required", "Optional", etc.). See Required and Optional Fields.

inversedboolean

Applies the "inverse" UI theme

sizeliteral
namerequiredstring

The input field's name attribute

onBlur(...args: any[]) => any
onChange(event: React.ChangeEvent<HTMLInputElement>) => any
typerequired'checkbox' | 'radio'

Sets the type to render checkbox fields or radio buttons

valuerequirednumber | string

The input value attribute

Styles

The following Sass variables can be overridden to customize choice fields:

Sass variables for choice
VariableDefault Core Theme Value
$choice__background-color$color-white
$choice__background-color--checked$color-primary
$choice__background-color--disabled$color-border
$choice__background-color--inverse$color-transparent
$choice__background-color--disabled--inverse#e9ecf126
$choice__border-color$color-base
$choice__border-color--checked$color-primary
$choice__border-color--disabled$color-gray-light
$choice__border-color--error$color-error
$choice__border-color--inverse$color-white
$choice__border-color--left$color-primary
$choice__border-color--focus$color-primary-darker
$choice__border-color--disabled--inverse$color-gray-light
$choice__border-radius0px
$choice__border-width2px
$choice__color--unchecked$color-white
$choice__color--disabled$color-gray
$choice__size32px
$choice__size--small20px
$choice__size-radio22px
$choice__size-radio--small12px
$choice-label__color--disabled$color-gray
$choice-label__color--disabled--inverse$color-muted-inverse

Form components

This component also makes use of form field styles, which can be customized by the following variables:

Sass variables for form
VariableDefault Core Theme Value
$form-label__color--inverse$color-white
$form__max-width460px
$form__max-width--small6em
$form__max-width--medium12em
$form-hint__color$color-gray
$form-hint__color--inverse$color-muted-inverse
$form-error__color$color-error
$form-error__color--inverse$color-error-light

Guidance

When to use

Radio buttons

  • When users need to select only one option out of a set of mutually exclusive choices.

When to consider alternatives

  • If there are too many options to display on a mobile screen. Consider a dropdown menu if you don’t have enough space to list out all available options, and if the user can only select one of the options.
  • Never use radio buttons for optional questions, since once a radio button is selected from a list, it or another choice will remain selected.

Usage

  • Don't rely on the visual difference between radio buttons and checkboxes. Make it clear with words when users can select one or multiple options.
  • Users should be able to tap on or click on either the text label or the checkbox to select or deselect an option.
  • In general, list choices vertically; horizontal listings can make it difficult to tell which label pertains to which choice. An exception is where you have binary choices with short labels, like 'Yes / No'. The convention here is for horizontal alignment.
  • Avoid using negative language in labels as they can be counterintuitive. For example, “I want to receive a promotional email” instead of “I don’t want to receive promotional email.”
  • Use caution if you decide to set a default value. Setting a default value can discourage users from making conscious decisions, seem pushy, or alienate users who don’t fit into your assumptions. In addition, you'll never know if the user explicitly chose that option or just didn't notice the question. If you're unsure, leave nothing selected by default.

View the "Forms" guidelines for additional guidance and best practices.

Checked children and the expose within pattern

  • The <Choice> component includes a checkedChildren prop that can expose hidden text information or form elements. This expose within pattern is especially useful if you need to collect data from follow up questions or give just-in-time feedback.
  • Checked children can be exposed by checking the parent checkbox or radio button
  • The checkedChildren prop should return one or more items wrapped in a div with the following className: .ds-c-choice__checkedChild. This class sets the spacing and border color for the exposed elements.
  • Add the className .ds-c-choice__checkedChild--inverse to the div to show the inverse white border
  • You may need to add the className .ds-u-margin--0 to your child element(s) to avoid extra top margin
  • If you opt for smaller radio buttons or checkboxes, add className .ds-c-choice__checkedChild--small to your checked child container

Accessibility

  • Surround a related set of choices with a <fieldset>. The <legend> provides context for the grouping. Do not use fieldset and legend for a single checkbox.
  • Some screen readers read the legend text for each fieldset, so it should be brief and descriptive.
  • Each input should have a semantic id attribute, and its corresponding label should have the same value in its for attribute.
  • The custom checkboxes and radio buttons here are accessible to screen readers because the default fields are moved off-screen.
  • checkedChildren will be announced to screen readers when they are exposed. They have been tested with the following devices:
    • Windows 10 + Internet Explorer 11 + JAWS screen reader
    • Windows 10 + Chrome + JAWS
    • Windows10 - Firefox + NVDA
      • NVDA reads out the <select> label and every <option> value
    • MacOS Mojave + Safari + VoiceOver

Learn more