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Inside Macintosh:

NEW: Apple Human Interface Guidelines

This document describes how to design your application for the Mac OS X user interface, known as Aqua. Primarily intended for Carbon and Cocoa developers—but also applicable for Java developers—who want their applications to look right and behave correctly in Mac OS X, this document provides examples of how to use Aqua interface elements.

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Mac OS 8 Human Interface Guidelines

This new supplement to Macintosh Human Interface Guidelines will help you take advantage of Mac OS 8 and beyond. Get the inside information on

Click here to see availability options for Mac OS 8 Human Interface Guidelines.

Macintosh Human
Interface Guidelines

Macintosh Human Interface Guidelines provides authoritative information on the theory behind the Macintosh "look and feel" and the practice of using individual interface components. This book includes many examples of good design and explains why one implementation is superior to another. Anyone designing or creating a product for Macintosh computers needs to understand the information in this book.

Read this book to learn

  • how people interact with computers
  • the principles of the Macintosh human interface
  • interface behaviors, such as responses to user input from the mouse or keyboard
  • interface elements, such as menus, windows, dialog boxes, controls, and icons
  • the importance of designing for worldwide markets and for people with disabilities
  • effective use of color
  • guidelines for using language clearly and consistently
  • suggestions for creating an effective design process, including how to manage complexity in software and how to extend the interface beyond these guidelines
  • sources of further information
At the back of the book is a checklist for evaluating how well your program conforms to the human interface guidelines.

To get the most out of this book, you should be familiar with Macintosh computers. If you are a programmer, you should also consult Inside Macintosh: Macintosh Toolbox Essentials for complete information on the technical implementation of your program and its interface.

Programmers and interface designers may also be interested in the companion to this book, the Electronic Guide to Macintosh Human Interface Design.

Do you have questions or feedback about Apple's Human Interface Guidelines? Send us e-mail at

Availability: Click below to obtain Mac OS 8 Human Interface Guidelines in any of the following formats.

Availability: Click below to obtain Macintosh Human Interface Guidelines in any of the following formats.

Macintosh Human Interface Guidelines Book Contents

Figures and Tables
Preface - About This Book
Part 1 - Fundamentals
Chapter 1 - Human Interface Principles
Chapter 2 - General Design Considerations
Chapter 3 - Human Interface Design and the Development Process
Part 2 - The Interface Elements
Chapter 4 - Menus
Chapter 5 - Windows
Chapter 6 - Dialog Boxes
Chapter 7 - Controls
Chapter 8 - Icons
Chapter 9 - Color
Chapter 10 - Behaviors
Chapter 11 - Language
Appendix A - Resources
Appendix B - Bibliography
Appendix C - Checklist

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© Apple Computer, Inc.
29 JUL 1996

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