Help Menu search in Mac OS X Leopard

Leopard Help Menu searchApple included a neat Help menu feature in Mac OS X Leopard that works in any application. The next time you forget a command or how to use a feature or function in the program you’re using, Mac OS X can point you toward available menu commands and help topics. Here’s how.

Applications running under Mac OS X Leopard contain a search field in the Help menu. Simply click Help on the menu or press Command+Shift+? to open the Help menu and start typing into the search field. This displays a dynamic Spotlight-ish list of search results sorted into Menu Items and Help Topics.

Here’s an example to help illustrate. I’m writing this in Microsoft Word 2004 for Mac. Let’s assume I’ve forgotten how to convert text into a table. All I need to do is open the Help menu in Microsoft Word and start typing the search term “convert.” A dynamic list will display after I’ve entered a few characters.

If I hover my cursor over the item Convert Text to Table, Leopard will automatically open the proper Microsoft Word menu, along with an elegant floating arrow pointing to the proper menu item. And just so there’s no doubt as to which menu item, it’s a big honking arrow.

As Apple puts it, “Enjoy more helpful Help.”

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