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Links and Buttons

Revision as of 13:24, 30 March 2007 by Kpeter.ca.ibm.com (Talk | contribs)

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This is basic content only. Please convert to the Template file for adding to the UI Best Practices and fill in more complete information.


Primary & secondary commands (within same page)

Use command buttons for:

  • Primary actions, such as Print in a print dialog
  • Secondary commands where it make sense to use a button instead of a link, such in a group of buttons where primary actions are shown first, and the secondary command follows


Use links for:

  • Navigation to another page, window, or Help topic
  • Secondary actions, such as in dialogs or wizards (a button or link could be used; consider other factors noted here). This is a visual affordance that de-emphasizes secondary commands.
  • Long text strings, consisting of 5 or more words, look less awkward as links than as command buttons, whether for actions or navigation
  • Commands embedded in a body of text, as in forms
  • Command is part of a menu or group of related links


Other factors that influence use of a link or a command button:

  • Visual affordance
  • Consider using links to deemphasize secondary commands
  • Context is relevant whether is primary or secondary, e.g. print in print dialog is primary (use Command Button), whereas print in web page is secondary (use Link)
  • UI environment
  • Some actions are available only on demand


Any use cases for Command Links in Eclipse?