The Help menu in complex applications

The Help menu in complex applications

People seem to ignore the Help menu, especially more advanced users. However, I’ll often see users of complex applications spend an inordinate amount of time hunting through menus and submenus looking for a particular option. Perhaps you want to know if there’s a keyboard shortcut for a command.

Let’s take a complex application like Pixelmator Pro. You want to add a mask to your document. You look in Insert, then Tools, and then Format and you finally find it in a submenu.

A simpler approach would be to open the Help menu and enter “mask” into the text field.

Hovering over any of the results will open the menu and highlight the menu item. Hitting Return will execute the menu command.

Note that Pixelmator has excellent help, but most applications don’t, so this can be every more valuable.