Is it more appropriate to use "Deselect All" or "Select None" or some other phrase to indicate the opposite of "Select All"?

Context: A toggle button in a piece of software that will select all items on screen, then change title to indicate it will clear the selected state of all items on screen

  • 6
    I would go with Clear Selection. Another alternative, though rarely used, would be Unselect All. – Manish Giri Aug 31 '14 at 3:17
  • 3
    You'll bet better answers to this question on the user interface design discussion than on the language discussion. – keshlam Aug 31 '14 at 3:42
  • 2
    see User Experience -- suggesting migration. – Kris Aug 31 '14 at 5:57

As far as I have seen in software, there is usually a Select All and Clear All (for when there are some/all selected categories) but it would also be appropriate to use Deselect All instead of Clear All.

Select None would be so that (in software terms) that NO categories are to be selected at all. Unless you assign it a specific language code (for example) to make it do the same as Clear/Deselect All.

  • especially for select none, which is common. – SrJoven Sep 8 '14 at 14:41
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    Deselect All is used in the iOS 10 Photos app. Seems more appropriate than Clear All, where that could be confused with deleting/removing all. – Jordan H Sep 3 '16 at 23:25
  • @JordanH - Agree. We have a radio button grid where we want a "Deselect" or "Select None" button. "Clear All" would mean you would clear all records in the entire grid (which also deselects the previously selected value), which is completely different. – thecoolmacdude Sep 27 at 18:10

Clear Selection, as @ManishGiri mentions, is the most common choice among web forms.

Other options include: Reset Form, Clear All, Reset, Unselect


Microsoft Manual of Style indicates "clear" instead of deselect. But, always best to use the first dictionary term of the word.

DESELECT: Turn off (a selected option) on an electronic interface such as "deselect the SAVE CHANGES option for normal use""

CLEAR: Easy to perceive, understand, or interpret such as, "clear and precise directions"

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