Can someone tell me the differences between the two types of selections in the pictures below (half square and full square)?

enter image description here enter image description here

  • where is that setting?
    – user47206
    Jun 19, 2018 at 12:53
  • System Settings > Desktop Behavior > Desktop Effects > Appearance
    – DK Bose
    Jun 19, 2018 at 14:03
  • I remember encountering the half square previously but I can't readily find any such instances on Kubuntu 18.04.
    – DK Bose
    Jun 19, 2018 at 14:19

1 Answer 1


According to KDE Visual Design Group/HIG/CheckBox:

A check box is a control that permits the user to make multiple selections from a number of options. Check boxes are used to toggle an option on or off, or to select or deselect an item. Users make a decision between two clearly opposite choices, e.g. 'on vs. off', 'apply vs. don't apply', 'show vs. hide'.

And further down there's an illustration of the partially filled checkbox with this:

Use the mixed state only to indicate that an option is set for some, but not all, child objects. ...


And this is what I see with a clean, default user account on Kubuntu 18.04:

Tri-state checkboxes

In the comment section below this answer, user26687 has provided a link to a comment by a developer, d_ed, in There are several settings in KDE that have a "half-checked" state. What do they mean?:

That the current value is evaluated by something else but can be overridden here.

So what you're seeing is by design even if it's not very obvious regarding the function!

  • 1
    Plasma developer David Edmundson (d_ed) answered: reddit.com/r/kde/comments/8c5ael/… - What do the partially checked chekbox mean ?: "That the current value is evaluated by something else but can be overridden here." Same kind of: reddit.com/r/kde/comments/8bd2ch/…. The KDE default of the blur is the 'partially checked'. The user can either turn the option on or off. The default can be restored from the System Settings default button: imgur.com/8oN7IxF
    – user26687
    Jun 19, 2018 at 19:08

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