How to Search for Any Menu Option on macOS

Ever get into a situation where you know an option exists in a menu somewhere, but you can’t find it? Thankfully, macOS lets you search the menus of any open application to find what you’re looking for.

Let’s use Preview as an example. Preview is a great, feature-packed image viewer that comes with every Mac, and it has a lot of options packed into its menus. Case in point: A simple “Export as PDF” option that lets you turn any image or document into a PDF.

If you can’t remember where that option is, though, just click the Help option in the menu bar and use the Search feature that appears.

If we start typing “export”, some really cool magic unfolds: Export as PDF appears under “Menu Items” as a search result.

When we hover over the “Export as PDF” result, the File menu pops open and a blue pointer announces exactly where that option located; no more hunting needed.

Of course, you do need to actually know that an option exists, and it also helps to remember what the option is called, but you don’t necessarily need to be exact. In the case of “Export as PDF” you can use the words “export” or “PDF” and the search system will still return the needed result.

So, the next time you’re wondering where that menu option seemingly disappeared to in an application you’re using, just search for it.

Matt Klein is an aspiring Florida beach bum, displaced honorary Texan, and dyed-in-wool Ohio State Buckeye, who fancies himself a nerd-of-all-trades. His favorite topics might include operating systems, BBQ, roller skating, and trying to figure out how to explain quantum computers.