1. When referring to software, a button, or push-button, is a graphical representation of a button that performs a specific action when pressed. For example, when closing a file without saving it you may receive a dialog box like the example below, which is asking if you want to Save the file, Don't Save the file, or Cancel. Each of these options are push buttons that will perform the task.

Push button dialog box

Traditionally a push button is clicked using the mouse button. However, the push button can also be pressed using the keyboard. To press a button using the keyboard press the tab key until the button is highlighted and then press the spacebar. In the above example, the "Save" button is highlighted so pressing the spacebar would open a Save window.

Push buttons are also used online for forms and tools that perform a specific task. For example, when doing a search online the search query is entered into the text box and you click a "Search" push-button to perform a search for the entered text. Below is an example of a search box with a Search push button.

To make a push button, similar to the above example in HTML (your own web page) requires the input type tag placed within a form tag, like what is shown below. In this code, the action is pointing to a script on Computer Hope that performs the action once the button is pressed. If you wanted the button to perform an action such as sending an e-mail or perform a different task, point the action to the address of the script.

<form action="http://www.computerhope.com/cgi-bin/search.cgi">
<input name="q" type="text" size="23">
<input name="sa" type="submit" value="Search"></form>

Power button2. When referring to hardware, a button is a physical button on a hardware device. For example, the button on the front of your computer monitor used to turn the monitor on and off is an example of this button. The picture is an example of a power button found on the front of the computer.

Also see: Button, Cancel, Check box, Command button, Ok, Operating system terms, Push, Radio button, Start button