Spin Boxes allow a user to enter a specific value, and gives users fine control over which value is chosen, but are slow when moving over large ranges of values. Sliders allow for quickly changing values over long ranges, but make it harder to select very specific values. In cases where both are necessary, combing the two is often a good approach.
- Use both a slider and spin box when the value is constrained at both ends, and where precise control over the value is needed or when there are a large number of values (more than 20).
- The values of the slider and spin box should be linked so changes to one are immediately reflect in another.
- The spin box should be aligned with the long axis of the slider. So if the slider is horizontal, the spin box should be to the right of the slider and aligned vertically with the center of the slider. If the slider is vertical, the spin box should be below the slider and aligned horizontally with the center of the slider.
- Provide a single label using a text label above it or to the left of the widgets, using sentence capitalization. Provide an access key in the label that should give focus directly to the spin box.
- Mark significant values along the length of the slider with text or tick marks. For example the left, right and center points on an audio balance control in Figure 6.7, “A simple slider control”.