Labels

A label is a static text field that describes an onscreen interface element or provides a short message. Although people can’t edit labels, they can sometimes copy label contents.

Keep labels legible. Labels can include plain or styled text. If you adjust the style of a label or use custom fonts, be sure not to sacrifice legibility. For related guidance, see Typography.

Use a colon when introducing a control. A colon implies a direct connection between the label text and a particular control or set of controls. A colon becomes unnecessary when the label and control work together to form a single sentence.

Label and control combination

Use system-provided label colors to communicate relative importance. macOS defines four label colors that vary in appearance to imply different levels of importance.

Color Description
Label Color The system color used for the text of a label. For developer guidance, see labelColor.
Secondary Label Color The system color used for the text of a label of lesser importance than a normal label such as a label used to represent a subheading or additional information. For developer guidance, see secondaryLabelColor.
Tertiary Label Color The system color used for the text of a label of lesser importance than a secondary label such as a label used to represent disabled text. For developer guidance, see tertiaryLabelColor.
Quaternary Label Color The system color used for the text of a label of lesser importance than a tertiary label such as watermark text. For developer guidance, see quaternaryLabelColor.

Make useful label text selectable. A user should be able to copy useful information such as an error message, a serial number, or an IP address for pasting into an email, document, or other location.

For related design guidance, see Text Fields and Color. For developer guidance, see NSTextField.