How to Select Application Commands in Mac OS X Lion

When working in an application, you can use the menu bar to access the application’s commands and features. Each item in the menu bar represents a pull-down menu, a collection of commands usually related to each other in some way. For example, the File menu commands usually deal with file-related tasks such as opening and closing documents.

The items in a menu are either commands that execute an action in the application, or features that you can turn on and off.

To select a command from a Pull-Down Menu:

  1. Click the name of the menu that you want to display.

    The application displays the menu.

  2. Click the command that you want to execute.

    The application executes the command.

    If a command is followed by an ellipsis (…), it means the command displays a dialog.

    If a command is followed by an arrow, it means the command displays a submenu. Click the command to open the submenu and then click the command that you want to run.


A way to access many application commands faster is by using the toolbar. Many applications come with a toolbar, which is a collection of buttons, lists, and other controls displayed in a strip, usually across the top of the application window. Because the toolbar is always visible, you can always use it to select commands, which means that the toolbar often gives you one-click access to the application’s most common features. This is faster than using the menu bar method, which often takes several clicks, depending on the command.

To select a command using a toolbar, click the toolbar button that represents the command that you want. If the button displays a menu, click the command on the menu. The application executes the command.