Working with Menus

Like most operating systems, OS X uses menus to give you lists of commands and functions that can be used by programs and the operating system as a whole. Menus take up considerable space on the screen, so they tend to be hidden except for a single label (a word, such as File or Edit, or an icon); clicking this label (which Apple calls a title) brings up a menu of commands, such as New Document, Open, and Save.

In OS X, a single menu appears at the top of the screen called the menu bar. Some of the titles for the items in the menu bar change, based on which application is active at the time. Some menu labels, such as macapple.jpg, File, Edit, Window, and Help, almost always appear because Apple insists that applications use a consistent interface so users can easily move among them.


Apple uses the term drop-down menu to refer to the menus in the menu bar and the term pop-up menu to refer to menus available within applications and windows.

Applications and windows also can have menus, called pop-up menus, which are accessed by clicking titles, icons, or buttons (both text and icon). Pop-up menus can appear in a variety of areas within an application or window, including in subwindows, side panes, dialog boxes, and control panels. Most applications make their main menus available in the menu bar, but they may make additional menu options available through a control ribbon ...

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