I'm getting ready to release an app onto the Mac Appstore and am in need of some advice. The app is really very simple but I'm thinking about adding a quick tutorial.

Would I be better off creating an Apple Help book so that when the user clicks the help menu item the Apple help interface appears?

Or should I create a tutorial inside of my application that the user can navigate through?

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

I should add that I actually already have everything in place for an "in app" tutorial, so the Help Book would actually take more work. I'm just trying to do what's best for the user.

  • 2
    This is quite subjective....
    – esqew
    Commented Aug 27, 2011 at 23:53
  • 2
    Whatever you do, make sure that when the user accesses the Help menu they don't just get a dialog saying Help isn't available for XYZ...
    – Rob Keniger
    Commented Aug 27, 2011 at 23:57
  • @Rob Good point! I went ahead and created an "in app" tutorial but I set the "Help" menu item to open my apps in app tutorial as well. That way the user doesn't get an error, instead they actually get help. Thanks for the tip.
    – Sam
    Commented Aug 28, 2011 at 3:43

2 Answers 2


The helpbook window is somewhat annoying.. I think it's because it's not running as a separate app, ALT-TAB is not working, making it difficult to switch between the help and the app. I much prefer being able to ALT-TAB between help and the app.


Sounds like you already have a good plan (in-app help with the menu bar linking to it), but I'll throw in one more idea. Since you're using the Mac App Store, and everyone looks at the screenshots, you could put some simple tips on top of the images. Like what iA Writer does for their iPad app: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ia-writer/id392502056?mt=8

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