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This chapter is from the book


The Finder—and most other Mac OS programs—offers menus full of options. There are four types of menus in Mac OS X:

  • A pull-down menu appears on the menu bar at the top of the screen (Figure 8).

    Figure 8Figure 8 The menu bar offers pull-down menus.

  • A submenu appears when a menu option with a right-pointing triangle is selected (Figure 9).

    Figure 9Figure 9 A submenu appears A submenu appears when you select a when you select a menu option with a menu option with a right-pointing triangle right-pointing triangle beside it.

  • A pop-up menu, which displays a pair of triangles (or double arrow), appears with in a window (Figures 10 and 11).

    Figure 10Figure 10 Pop-up menus can appear within dialogs.

    Figure 11Figure 11 To display a pop-up menu, click it.

  • A contextual menu appears when you hold down while clicking an item (Figure 12).

    Figure 12Figure 12 A contextual menu appears when you hold down while clicking.


    • A menu option followed by an ellipsis (...) (Figure 8) will display a dialog when chosen. Dialogs are discussed in detail in Chapter 5.

    • A menu option that is dimmed or gray cannot be chosen. The commands that are available vary depending on what is selected on the desktop or in a window.

    • A menu option preceded by a check mark (Figure 8) is enabled, or "turned on."

    • A menu option followed by a series of keyboard characters (Figure 8) has a key board equivalent. Keyboard equivalents are discussed later in this chapter.

    • Contextual menus only display options that apply to the item to which you are pointing.

    • In Mac OS X, menus are translucent. Although this makes them look cool on screen, it doesn't always look good when illustrated on paper.

To use a menu

  1. Point to the name of the menu (Figure 13).

    Figure 13Figure 13 Point to the menu name.

  2. Click. The menu opens, displaying its options (Figure 14).

    Figure 14Figure 14 Click (or press) to display the menu.

  3. Point to the menu option you want (Figure 15).

    Figure 15Figure 15 Click (or drag) to choose the menu option you want.

  4. Click to choose the option. The menu disappears.


    • Mac OS X's menus are "sticky menus"—each menu opens and stays open when you click its name.

    • To close a menu without choosing an option, click outside the menu.

    • This book uses the following notation to indicate menu commands: Menu Name > > Submenu Name (if necessary) > (if necessary) > Command Name. For example, the instructions for choosing the Documents command from the Favorites submenu under the Go menu (Figure 9) would be:

    • "choose Go > Favorites > Documents."

To use a contextual menu

  1. Point to the item on which you want to act.

  2. Press and hold down . A tiny contextual menu icon appears beside the mouse pointer (Figure 16).

    Figure 16Figure 16 Hold down while pointing to an item.

  3. Click. A con textual menu appears at the item (Figure 17).

    Figure 17Figure 17 A contextual menu appears when you click.

  4. Click the menu option you want (Figure 18).

    Figure 18Figure 18 Click (or drag) to choose the option you want.

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