I hate it when I can’t find a certain menu item. It happens a lot these days as I jump between multiple versions of different software.

Leopard-HelpMenu.pngMac OS X Leopard adds a search field to the top of the Help menu. In addition to various help topics (which I usually ignore) it pulls up a list of all the menu items that include any search terms you type.

Highlight those menu items (using the arrow keys on your keyboard) and the appropriate menu pops up with a floating pointer showing you where the command is located.

With typical Apple finesse, a subtle animation helps draw your eye.

Alternative Animation

I illustrate our tips with animated GIFs whenever I can, and sometime it pains me to throw out something I spent a lot of time working on. This was the runner-up illustration for this tip. It showed both the Help menu and the floating pointer in the same screen, but in the end I preferred focusing in on a single menu.


Source: This tip inspired by time spent last week playing with the newly released FileMaker 10. This second example shows how I finally found the menu command to email records as PDF attachments.