Document Revision History

This table describes the changes to OS X Human Interface Guidelines.

2013-10-22Described light content controls introduced in OS X v10.9; made minor updates and corrections.
2012-07-23Added guidelines for new OS X technology features and made minor changes throughout.

Added guidelines for “iCloud Storage.”


Added guidelines for “Notification Center.”


Added guidelines for “Sharing Service.”


Added guidelines for “Game Center.”


Added guidelines for “In-App Purchase.”


Added guidelines for “Calendar.”


Added guidelines for “Reminders.”


Added technology descriptions for new features such as “Gatekeeper” and “Auto Layout.”


Updated the guidelines for “The Open Dialog” to include the new iCloud open dialog.


Added guidelines for a new UI element, the “Share Menu.”

2012-06-11Updated for high-resolution graphic displays.
2012-02-16Made minor corrections.
2011-07-26Added guidelines for capitalizing toolbar item names; made minor corrections.
2011-07-20Updated for OS X v10.7; changed the title from Apple Human Interface Guidelines.
2011-05-31Added guidelines for supporting trackpad gestures and supplying services, and made updates throughout.

Changed guideline for displaying a search history in a search field.


Updated layout guidelines for bottom bars.


Added layout guidelines for dialogs that display list views.


Clarified guideline discouraging preferences windows that can resize or minimize.


Described the different appearances of window-frame controls.


Updated guidelines for menu bar extras.


Provided some additional guidance on designing the user interface with worldwide compatibility in mind.

2008-06-09Fixed minor errors.
2008-03-11Fixed minor errors.
2008-01-15Updated for OS X v10.5.
2006-10-03Made minor corrections.
2006-06-28Made minor corrections.
2006-05-23Added information about communication from background processes and handling text fields that require user input.
2006-04-04Added guidelines for using the colon character and updated guidelines for using the ellipsis character.
2006-02-07Updated the toolbar icon section and made some minor corrections.
2005-12-06Added an appendix containing guidelines on how to prioritize design decisions and updated the Keyboard Shortcuts appendix.
2005-11-09Made minor bug fixes.
2005-09-08Made minor bug fixes.
2005-08-11Made minor bug fixes. Changed guidelines for dimming of menu titles for menus containing inactive commands.
2005-07-07Made minor bug fixes.
2005-06-04Made minor bug fixes.
2005-04-29Made minor bug fixes.
 Updated for OS X version 10.4. Also contains information that was previously available in Apple Software Design Guidelines.

Minor bug fixes.


Minor bug fixes.


Minor bug fixes.


Removed Part I and Part II. This information is now available in Apple Software Design Guidelines.


Updated Introduction to reflect new structure of the document.


Minor bug fixes.


Clarifications to font guidelines in Text.


Corrected minor errors in artwork in Figure 13-21 and Figure 13-24.


Minor revisions throughout including updating some artwork.


Reworked organization of Layout Examples and added more specific guidelines and examples.


Minor corrections to some of the specifications in the Controls.


Updated for Mac OS X version 10.3 by updating artwork and including new controls.


Divided the document into parts.


Added all of content in Part II.


Added Cursors.


Added a list of all keyboard shortcuts.


Called out differences between Carbon and Cocoa where appropriate.


Reorganized Windows.


Reorganized Menus.


Added content and fixed various bugs throughout.


Updated for Mac OS X version 10.2. Deleted “What’s New in Aqua” sections from Chapter 1 and beginning of each chapter.


Speech chapter added.


New controls: command pop-down menus, toolbar control, spinning arrows, small image wells.


Other additions/changes include: accessibility features, installers, metal windows, new document window position, utility window controls, font constants.


Updated for Mac OS X version 10.1.


Added information about filename extension hiding, Dock menus and notification, setup assistants, new focus ring specifications, accessibility guidelines, full keyboard access, customizing Print dialogs, window positioning on multiple monitors, proxy icons. Various other editorial changes throughout.


Updated for WWDC.


Changes made to many illustrations.


Slight engineering comments and changes throughout.


Icons chapter expanded.


File Location chapter added.


“What’s New in Aqua” chapter appended to Intro chapter.


“Layout Guidelines” broken out from “Controls” chapter.


Other additions include “Additional Considerations” section in principles chapter; windows with different panes.


Updated for Jan 2001 Macworld; now called Inside Mac OS X: Aqua Human Interface Guidelines.


Document divided into chapters. TOC added.


Major content added to entire document. Added many screen shots.


Added Human Interface principles chapter.


Added Help chapter.


Added Language chapter.


Added Drag and Drop chapter.


Added Checklist appendix.


Added Mac OS X terminology appendix.


Added index.


Content revisions include click-through, icon creation process, combo boxes, sheets, Save-Close-Quit behavior, keyboard equivalents, About boxes, pop-up bevel buttons, and pop-up icon buttons.


Updated for Mac OS X Public Beta Release.


Added section on working with the Appearance Manager.


Added section on designing alerts.


Added section on sheets.


Added section on drawers.


Added section on list and column view.


Added material on small controls.


Added examples of font usage.


Clarified description of tab control usage.


Updated for Mac OS X Developer Preview 4 and retitled Adopting the Aqua Interface.


Changed content and art to reflect new control metrics.


Added section on icon design.


Added section on window layering.


Added section on menu layout.


Added material on using an ellipsis in menus.


Document published as Aqua Layout Guidelines.