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13:4 Do Not Make User-Entered Codes Case Sensitive

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13:4 Do Not Make User-Entered Codes Case Sensitive

Relative Importance:

Relative Importance rating of 4 out of 5

Strength of Evidence:

Strength of Evidence rating of 2 out of 5

Document Type: Guideline


Controls and Widgets


Treat upper- and lowercase letters as equivalent when users are entering codes.


Do not make user-entered codes case sensitive unless there is a valid reason for doing so (such as increased security of passwords). If required, clearly inform users if they must enter codes in a case specific manner. When retaining data entered by users, show the data as it was entered by the user.


  • Ahlstrom, V. & Longo, K. (2001). Human factors design guide update (Report number DOT/FAA/CT-96/01): A revision to chapter 8 - computer human interface guidelines. Retrieved November 2005, from
  • Smith, S.L. & Mosier, J.N. (1986, August). Guidelines for designing user interface software. The MITRE Corporation Technical Report (ESD-TR-86-278).

Good Example:

This product requires a long code to be entered. The code is broken up into small chunks, and the form does not require that the code be typed in the same case as it appears on the label.


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