Help Buttons

A help button appears within a view and opens app-specific help documentation when clicked. For help documentation creation guidance, see Help. All help buttons are circular, consistently-sized buttons that contain a question mark icon.

Always use the system-provided help button to display help documentation. People are familiar with the appearance of the standard help button and know that clicking it opens help content.

Whenever possible, open a help topic related to the current context. For example, the Rules pane of Mail preferences includes a help button. When clicked, it opens directly to a Rules preferences help topic. If it doesn’t make sense to show a specific topic, show the top-level of your app’s help documentation.

Provide no more than one help button per window. Multiple help buttons in the same context make it hard for the user to predict the result of clicking one.

Position help buttons as expected. In general, help buttons should be positioned as follows:

View style Help button position
Dialog with dismissal buttons (like OK and Cancel). Lower-left corner, vertically aligned with the dismissal buttons.
Dialog without dismissal buttons. Lower-left or lower-right corner.
Preference window or pane. Lower-left or lower-right corner.

Use a help button in a view, not a window frame. Help buttons aren’t intended for use in toolbars or status bars.

Don’t use a label to introduce a help button. The purpose of a help button is clear without the need for additional descriptive text.

For developer guidance, see NSButton, NSButtonCell, and NSHelpButtonBezelStyle.