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Even when you’re comfortable with Mac applications like Mail or Safari, you may come across buttons or icons you’re not familiar with.

In the early days of computing, everything was unfamiliar, and this was a much bigger problem.

Apple created the first Mac built-in help system in 1991. That system has grown and changed over the last 20 years into what we now call ToolTips.

What Are ToolTips?

ToolTips are those tiny yellow information boxes that appear next to your cursor when you hover over a button or icon.

Mac Mail ToolTip

On the Mac, by default, Tooltips are turned on.

Why Would I Use Them?

If you update Microsoft Word or Excel, and you’re puzzled by the new interface, use ToolTips to poke around and find out what different buttons do.

Microsoft Word ToolTip

If you love iPhoto or iMovie, ToolTips is a great way to explore new features and expand your abilities.

Mac iPhoto ToolTip

You or your kids are bound to come face to face with a strange button eventually. ToolTips are a great starting point to answer the age-old question “What does that do.”

Mac Safari ToolTip

And If You Hate ToolTips And Want To Turn Them Off?

There’s no easy way. You need to use Terminal commands. If your comfortable with Terminal, you’ll find the necessary code on the net.

If you have questions, please use the Comments section below.

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