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Im looking for a word to describe the visual aspect of a user interface. Imagine a form to fill out, in a web page. Disabled fields will be grayed out, and draw less attention. The opposite of highlighted.

I have a similar situation, but the fields are in fact not disabled, I just want to mark them as less significant than the others. In order to be able to reuse the style, I'd like to name the style something that means the opposite of highlighted.

These are the antonyms I have found, but none of them really works:

lowlight - Never heard this word actually used. Might work?
disappointment - No go in a visual context
nonevent - No go in a visual context
anticlimax - No go in a visual context
bringdown - Never heard this word actually used. Might work?
downer - No go in a visual context
downfall - No go in a visual context
letdown - No go in a visual context
let-down - No go in a visual context
washout - Maybe?
nadir - Not understandable to most people, me included
low point - No go in a visual context

So, does any of these work for my situation? Or are there any others that I haven't found?

  • Depending on how you "de-highlight" your fields you may describe them as drenched (I found some antonyms of highlighted here: [thesaurus.com/browse/highlighted?s=t](thesaurus.com) – Ingo Bochmann Aug 15 at 12:56
  • I would never understand drenched to mean de-highlighted in this (or any) context. But i kind of like de-highlighted. Though it pretty much means not highlighted, it might be enough to get my point across :) – KjetilNordin Aug 15 at 13:00
  • First, "+1" for explicitly exploring and rejecting commonly-found antonyms (too many don't). When you say "I just want to mark them as less significant than the others" does that mean you will have highlighted fields (more important than normal), normal fields (normal importance) and ??? fields (less important than normal)? Or are you just going to have highlighted fields and not-highlighted fields? – TripeHound Aug 15 at 13:47
  • I have a list of items, based of templates. It looks like a table, but with input fields for text and stuff. In this editor, I'd like to play down the rows that are not yet (or might never be) actually instantiated from template. Meaning they will not be visible for those with reading rights, and should therefor have a different visual style (less significant) than the actual instantiated rows. Fields will only be highlighted when there are unsaved changes in the editor. – KjetilNordin Aug 15 at 13:51
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    Lowdarked, clearly. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Aug 16 at 21:53
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I've mostly heard of lowlights in terms of sports events or careers

However while trying to find references for that meaning I found one to do with hair colouring

Lowlights versus highlights

Lowlights involve darkening strands of hair by using colours that are darker than your natural colour. In contrast, highlights use colours that are lighter than your natural shade.

So if the negative highlighting you are doing involves shading (bright vs dark) rather than changing the colour, I think lowlight/lowlights/lowlighting is perfect.

  • might go with lowlighted... Or maybe just toned down? – KjetilNordin Aug 15 at 13:01
  • downlight(s) or downlighted? Although more of a physical direction of lighting then brightness/shading. 2nd one is also not a proper word. – Smock Aug 15 at 13:11
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If something is highlighted, it is also emphasized. Therefore, as a verb, the opposite would be de-emphasized:

[Merriam-Webster]
: to reduce in relative importance
also : PLAY DOWN

An example sentence for the scenario in the question is as follows:

I highlighted some aspects, but de-emphasized others.


Note, too, the possible use of reduced.

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The verb to background could work. Merriam Websters:

2 : to give less attention or emphasis to (something) : to place (something) in the background
Graham peoples her novel with genuine, endearing characters and keeps the grisly murders tactfully backgrounded … — Publishers Weekly Reviews

In your case, you could background the less important information.

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