Friday, January 7, 2022

A Guide to NSButton Styles, 2022

Kuba Suder (tweet):

It was hard to figure out the purpose and intended use of each kind of button, and there were hardly any clues inside Xcode itself. So I decided to do some research to find some tips about what each button is for. I put together information I found in the old-style Apple docs and the Human Interface Guidelines, I also looked through Apple’s system apps to see which buttons are used in what contexts, and I even peeked inside some apps using Interface Inspector.


In this second edition, I’ve replaced all old screenshots with new ones in Retina quality (I even installed a Mavericks VM in VirtualBox to get 2x pictures from there!), and I added a new set for Big Sur and Monterey. In some cases there are even separate versions for Yosemite and Catalina, because I’ve noticed that a few things were tweaked during that macOS era. I also added new content about new kinds of buttons and features introduced in recent years, clarified and expanded a lot of descriptions, and added some additional examples. I also went through Apple’s own apps and looked inside some of them again, this time using Xcode view debugger with SIP turned off (thanks to Tim Oliver for the tip!).


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