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New to Mac? How to Use the Built-in Mac Help System

How-to-use-the-Mac-Help-system-MacBook
Written by Hassan Abbas

When you’re getting familiar with your new Mac, then there are times when simple things can be difficult to figure out. And you have no time to search the web for an answer. Luckily, macOS comes with a built-in Help feature that works really well.

Whether you want more details or help finding a menu option, Mac’s Help system is there. We’ll show you how to access Help and some tips for using it.

The built-in Mac Help system

  • Opening Help on Mac
  • Using Help in the menu bar
  • Using the Help window toolbar
  • Clicking links within Help

Opening Help on Mac

When you have Finder open, you can access the Help system from your menu bar. If you’ve an app open, the Help button in the menu bar will take you to the help topics specific to that app instead.

You can also access Help for few sections in your System Preferences. If there is help available, you’ll see a question mark in the below right corner of the window. The topics you see after seeing click button will relate to the specific section you’re viewing.

For instance, if you open System Preferences, select Mouse, then select Point & Click, when you tap the question mark, the Help topics you see are for that exact area of Point & Click for your Mouse.

Using Help in the Menu bar

Obviously, when you tap Help from the menu bar, you can pop in a search term. You also have the choice to open macOS Help, if you prefer. But some times, using a keyword to search for, just click when you see what you need and the Help window will open.

Using the Help window toolbar

When you have the Help window open, you have some additional options.

In the Help window toolbar you’ve arrows you can use to go back to the previous page or forward again.

Next, you have a Table of Contents button. This is super handy for seeing an outline related to your search so you can jump to different areas if needed.

If you would like to share something from the Help section, then the next button gives you your default sharing options. So if you’re helping out a friend or family member, you can share the Help topic with them.

Finally, you’ve a search box. If you want to search for something completely different or try to narrow down your search, just pop a word or phrase into the box and you’ll see suggestions.

You’ll check as you’re using the Help system that some words or phrases are linked. And where you are directed when you click a link may change.

Some links have a dotted underline. Those will show you a preview of what the word or phrase is referring to. Other links will take you to another section of Help system if there is a topic dedicated to it. And still other links will open things for you such as the settings in System Preferences.

So, pay attention to those linked words and phrases for additional help within the Help system.

Also Read: Pin any Today Widget on the Lock Screen with LockWidgets

About the author

Hassan Abbas

Tech enthusiast with too many items on his wish-list and not nearly enough money! Specializing in all things tech, with a slight Apple bent he has been writing for various blogs for the best part of (too many) years

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