When to use Radio Buttons and Checkboxes

Jakob Neilson’s newest Alertbox article discusses when to use checkboxes and radio buttons – good stuff that makes our web forms easier to use!

Here’s a useful little snippet:

  1. Radio buttons are used when there is a list of two or more options that are mutually exclusive and the user must select exactly one choice. In other words, clicking a non-selected radio button will deselect whatever other button was previously selected in the list.
  2. Checkboxes are used when there are lists of options and the user may select any number of choices, including zero, one, or several. In other words, each checkbox is independent of all other checkboxes in the list, so checking one box doesn’t uncheck the others.
  3. A stand-alone checkbox is used for a single option that the user can turn on or off.

Where’d my ERIC Document go? Found it!

Oops! Dang it, I hate when this happens… the problem, of course, was on my end.

When searching for an ERIC record, one needs to include the “ED” or “EJ” with the number…

That works great! I can now see my ERIC Document in all it’s out-of-date glory.

In my defense, when using the previous versions of ERIC, I was easily able to find my document without the ED added – when testing the new ERIC, I cut-and-pasted the ERIC # into all the databases… or maybe I used the ED too, and that was broken in the new database the first time around, but then I broke the search the second time around? Who knows.

I’m just glad everything is working now, and that I know how to use the dang thing.

Where’d my ERIC Document go? Continued

OK, this saga continues. The ERIC people have a 1-800 helpline (1-800-LET-ERIC) with extremely helpful customer service reps. I called them up to ask what the deal was with my ERIC Document, and she was able to pull it up immediately! Go figure – sort of like when the car’s having trouble until you take it to the shop!

Then she asked me if I had registered and was logged in… which I wasn’t – their website states “You do NOT need to login or register to use ERIC’s search feature” – so I hadn’t bothered with it.

She advised me to log in and try the search again, so I hung up and tried the search again…. and still got 0 results! So I called up ERIC again, and talked to another extremely nice customer service rep (wow! Two in a row!). We did the same thing again, and I still got nothing, and he found my ERIC Document.

Then he gave me another non-domain URL to try – – that’s the URL he uses at ERIC. But of course, we both got the same results – he found it, I didn’t.

So now I have an official help ticket logged with ERIC (AM7145001), and someone is supposed to contact me about it.

Let’s see what happens!