101 ways to (ab)use a checkbox

Ryan Seddon

The checkbox is pretty boring...

Incorrect!

+ :checked = Awesome

Let's take a journey through creating interaction with checkboxes without javascript

Custom checkboxes/radios

Original demo by Simurai

Pretty simple CSS


<input type="radio" name="opts" id="opts1"> 
<label for="opts1">Option</label>

Setup the styles to react to label clicks


input + label {
 background-position: 50px 0;
}
input:checked + label {
 background-position: 0 0;
}
input:checked ~ input + label {
 background-position: -50px 0;
}

Shiny dot is a CSS gradient


input + label {
    /* less interesting styles */
    background-image: radial-gradient(hsla(200, 100%, 90%, 1) 0%, 
                        hsla(200, 100%, 70%, 1) 15%, 
                        hsla(200, 100%, 60%, 0.3) 28%, 
                        hsla(200, 100%, 30%, 0) 70%);
    border-radius: 25px; 
    box-shadow: hsla(0, 0%, 100%, 0.15) 0 1px 1px, 
                inset hsla(0, 0%, 0%, 0.5) 0 0 0 1px;
    transition: background-position 0.15s cubic-bezier(0.8, 0, 1, 1);
}

Cubic bezier tool

I wrote an article about the technique

Tree menu

    1. File 1
      1. Filey 1
        1. File 1
          1. Subfile 1
          2. Subfile 2
          3. Subfile 3
          4. Subfile 4
          5. Subfile 5
          6. Subfile 6
      2. File 3
      3. File 4
      4. File 5
      5. File 6
    1. File 1
      1. Subfile 1
      2. Subfile 2
      3. Subfile 3
      4. Subfile 4
      5. Subfile 5
      6. Subfile 6
    1. File 1
      1. Subfile 1
      2. Subfile 2
      3. Subfile 3
      4. Subfile 4
      5. Subfile 5
      6. Subfile 6

Tree markup

<ol>
  <li>
    <input type="checkbox" checked id="folder1" />
    <label for="folder1" onclick>Folder 1</label> 
    <ol>
       <li>File</li>
    </ol>
  </li>
  ... more items
</ol>

CSS, heavily simplified

.tree li input:checked ~ ol {
    height: auto;
    padding: 0 0 0 35px;
}
.tree li label:after, .tree li label:before,
.tree li input:checked ~ ol:before {
    background: url(icon-sprite.png) 0 0 no-repeat;
    content: "";
    height: 14px;
    width: 14px;
}
.tree li input ~ ol > li { display: none; }
.tree li input:checked ~ ol > li { display: block; }

I wrote an article on this too!

Lets step it up a notch

Introducing Bootleg.css, a
dodgy version of Bootstrap

Button groups

Button groups with radios

Button groups markup

<div class="btn-group" data-toggle="buttons-checkbox">
  <input type="checkbox" id="group1" data-toggle="button">
  <label class="btn btn-primary" for="group1">Left</label>
  
  <input type="checkbox" id="group2" data-toggle="button">
  <label class="btn btn-primary" for="group2">Middle</label>
  
  <input type="checkbox" id="group3" data-toggle="button">
  <label class="btn btn-primary" for="group3">Right</label>
</div>

Button groups markup radios

<div class="btn-group" data-toggle="buttons-radio">
  <input type="radio" id="r1" name="r-group" data-toggle="button">
  <label class="btn btn-primary" for="r1">Left</label>
  
  <input type="radio" id="r2" name="r-group" data-toggle="button">
  <label class="btn btn-primary" for="r2">Middle</label>
  
  <input type="radio" id="r3" name="r-group" data-toggle="button">
  <label class="btn btn-primary" for="r3">Right</label>
</div>

Button groups CSS

input[data-toggle]:checked + label,
input[data-toggle]:checked + label:active {
    background-color: #0044CC;
    color: #FFFFFF;
    background-image: none;
    box-shadow: 0 2px 4px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.15) inset, 
                0 1px 2px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.05);
    outline: 0 none;
}

Button groups CSS

.btn-group > .btn:first-of-type {
    border-bottom-left-radius: 4px;
    border-top-left-radius: 4px;
    margin-left: 0;
}

Dropdowns

Dropdown markup

<ul class="nav" role="navigation">
  <li class="dropdown">
    <input type="radio" name="dropdowns" id="dropdown1">
    <label for="dropdown1" class="dropdown-toggle" onclick>
        Dropdown 
        <b class="caret"></b>
    </label>
    
    <ul class="dropdown-menu" role="menu">
      <li><a tabindex="-1" href="#">Action</a></li>
      ... more items
    </ul>
    <label for="dismissdd" class="dismiss-dd" onclick></label>
  </li>
</ul>

<input type="radio" checked id="dismissdd" name="dropdowns">

Dropdown CSS

#dropdowns input[type="radio"] ~ .dismiss-dd {
    display: none;
    position: fixed;
    top: 0;
    right: 0;
    bottom: 0;
    left: 0;
    z-index: 999;
    padding: 0 !important;
    background: transparent !important;
    line-height: 0;
    cursor: default;
}

#dropdowns input[type="radio"]:checked ~ .dropdown-menu,
#dropdowns input[type="radio"]:checked ~ .dismiss-dd {
    display: block;
}

Collapse

Collapse markup

<input type="radio" name="accordion-group" id="collapseAll">
<div class="accordion-group">
  <input type="radio" id="collapse1" name="accordion-group" checked>
  <label for="collapseAll" class="accordion-dismiss"></label>

  <div class="accordion-heading">
    <label for="collapse1" class="accordion-toggle">Heading #1</label>
  </div>
  <div id="collapseOne" class="accordion-body collapse">
    <div class="accordion-inner">
      ...
    </div>
  </div>
</div>

Collapse CSS

#collapse .accordion input ~ .collapse {
    max-height: 0;
    height: auto;
    transition: max-height 0.2s ease 0s;
}
#collapse .accordion input:checked ~ .collapse {
    max-height: 500px;
    transition-duration: 0.7s;
}

Modals

Modal markup

<!-- Modal 1 -->
<label class="btn" for="modal1" onclick>Launch ze modal</label>
<input type="radio" id="modal1" name="modal" />

<div class="modal hide fade">
  <div class="modal-header">
    <label role="button" class="close" for="closemodal">×</label>
    <h3>Modal header</h3>
  </div>
  <div class="modal-body">...</div>
  <div class="modal-footer">
    <label role="button" class="close" for="closemodal">Close</label>
  </div>
</div>

<!-- Overlay and close -->
<input type="radio" id="closemodal" name="modal" />
<label for="closemodal" class="modalclose">&nbsp;</label>

Modal CSS trigger

#modals input + .modal {
    left: 50%;
    margin: 0;
    top: 0;
    opacity: 0;
    transition: transform 0.3s ease-in, opacity 0.3s linear;
    transform: translate(-50%,-100%);
}
#modals input:checked + .modal {
    opacity: 1;
    transition-delay: 0.4s;
    transform: translate(-50%,20%);
}

Modal closing CSS

#modals input + .modalclose {
    transition: opacity 0.3s linear;      
    position: fixed;
    top: 0;
    left: 0;
    bottom: 0;
    right: 0;
    z-index: -1;
    opacity: 0;
}
#modals input:not(#closemodal):checked ~ .modalclose {
    opacity: 0.8;
    z-index: 1;
    background: #000;
    margin: 0 !important;
    transition-delay: 0;
}

Carousel

Carousel markup

<input type="radio" id="slide1" name="slider" checked>
<input type="radio" id="slide2" name="slider">
<input type="radio" id="slide3" name="slider">
<input type="radio" id="slide4" name="slider">
<input type="radio" id="slide5" name="slider">

Carousel markup part 2

<div class="slides">
  <div class="carousel-inner">
    <div class="item">
      <img src="..." alt="">
      <div class="carousel-caption">
        <h4>Pic 1</h4>
        ...
      </div>
    </div>
</div>

Carousel markup part 3

<div id="controls">
  <label for="slide1">
    <span>&lsaquo;</span><span>&rsaquo;</span>
  </label>
  <label for="slide2">
    <span>&lsaquo;</span><span>&rsaquo;</span>
  </label>
  <label for="slide3">
    <span>&lsaquo;</span><span>&rsaquo;</span>
  </label>
</div>

Carousel CSS

We'll step through the CSS file to better explain

Quirks and bugs

Webkit couldn't handle the hotness


// Off
input[type="checkbox"] ~ div {
    // Fancy styles
}

// On
input[type="checkbox"]:checked ~ div {
    // Fancy styles
}

Prior to Safari 5.1 & Chrome 13 this didn't work

<=iOS5 Safari requires onclick attribute


<input type="checkbox" id="foo">
<label onclick="" for="foo">I need an onclick in iOS</label>

<=iOS5 will not update a checkboxes state when
touching a label, but adding an onclick attribute works.

Notorious 300ms delay iOS

Click events have a 300ms delay. Tapping a label, inputs is sluggish.

Can be fixed using JavaScript and touch events.

Downsides

Accessibility abuse

Confusing markup when consumed through a screenreader

Accessibility experts reaction

Sometimes* require specific placement of markup

* and by sometimes I mean most of the time...

E.g. bootleg tabs


<input type="radio" id="foo" name="tabs">
<label onclick for="foo">Foo</label>

//... more tabs

<div class="tabs-container">
    <div class="tab">...</div>
    //... more tab content
</div>

Limited feature set.

Browser support

Basic:
Firefox Chrome Opera Safari IE
1+ 2+ 9.2+ 3.2+ 9+
Fancy:
16+ 22+ 12+ 6+ 10+

Why not just use JavaScript?

It's fun to experiment

It makes you better at what you do

It feels good to push the limits

Find bugs, file bugs! Makes everyone better off

The future?

Toggle all the things!

A proposal to introduce togglability to any element


.modal-button {
    toggle-states: 2; // How many states
}
// An element with 2 or greater toggle states
// can react to the :checked pseudo-class
.modal-button:checked ~ .modal {
    // show modal
}

Proposed properties

  • toggle-states

  • toggle-group

  • toggle-share

  • toggle-initial

Recap!

  • Understand the language

  • Become a better developer

  • Find holes

  • File bugs

  • Happy dance

And remember...

So use wisely