Radio buttons, also known as option buttons, are small circular form fields found in dialog boxes and user forms in spreadsheet programs such as Excel.
In both situations, they are used to allow users to pick a single option from a group of mutually exclusive choices.
Radio Buttons in Dialog Boxes
In the paste special dialog box, one use for radio buttons is to allow users to carry out basic mathematical operations - such as addition or subtraction - on data located in one or more worksheet cells.
By allowing only one option to be chosen at a time, radio buttons prevent user errors that would occur if two or more mutually exclusive choices were selected.
For example, in the paste special dialog box, radio buttons prevent users from trying to add and subtract data at the same time.
Radio buttons are usually contained within a group box or frame. For example, in the image above the radio buttons for carrying out basic math operations are contained within the Operations group box.
The group box defines which choices are mutually exclusive as only one choice from the box can be selected at any one time.
Dialog boxes may contain multiple group boxes with one option from each box available.
Radio Buttons in User Forms
Radio buttons are used on custom forms to allow a user to select one choice from those available in a group box.
The same rules apply for radio buttons in forms as in dialog boxes in that the buttons are arranged in groups and only one choice in a group can be selected at a time.
A common use for radio buttons is on custom-made order forms.
They are used to allow purchasers to select only one option from a range of options for such choices as:
- size - small, medium, or large
- shipping options - ground, express, or overnight delivery