Introduction to Dialogs and Special Panels

This topic describes alert dialogs and other special panels.

An alert notifies users about some event and, optionally, lets them choose how the application responds to that event. Alerts come in two forms: as a free-floating dialog and as a sheet. An alert dialog is application-modal and unattached to any window; it refers to a condition affecting the application as a whole. An alert sheet is a dialog that is attached to a particular window (usually representing a document) and is modal to that window. You can find additional information about alert sheets in the programming topic Sheet Programming Topics.

The “Dialogs” in OS X Human Interface Guidelines chapter in Aqua Human Interface Guidelines also provides information about the various kinds of alert dialogs and the conditions suited to their use.

Organization of This Document

This topic has the following tasks:

And here’s where you can find information on other types of special panels: