[OS X TeX] funny behaviour of texshop help window

Berend Hasselman bhh at xs4all.nl
Sun Oct 4 16:05:00 CEST 2009

On 04-10-2009, at 15:35, Doris Wagner wrote:

> hi list,
> on my mac, when I open texshop help and apply cmd+ (for a larger  
> font), the help window displays in a larger font as wanted; but when  
> I apply cmd- for decreasing the font again, nothing happens (if  
> there is no other window open) or the font of the preview or editor  
> becomes smaller;

Which version of Mac OS X are you using?
I am using Snow Leopard 10.6.1 and see exactly the behaviour you are  
With Mail Help (for example) something similar seems to happen.

You can also change the font in the Help panel by clicking on the gear  
button in the toolbar of Help.
It has "Make Text bigger" and "Make Text smaller" entries.
It looks like we (users) are not allowed to use Cmd++ and Cmd+- in Help.
Or it's a bug in the Help system.

> in addition, if I change from TeXShop to another application, the  
> TeXShop Help Window remains in front of (that is: still overlaps)  
> the window of the other app.
> ???
> can anyone explain to me this funny behaviour?

Indeed. This is the case since Mac OS X 10.5.
Apple in its wisdom decided that help windows must always stay on top  
of everything.

Many complaints have been made about this.

There is a Terminal defaults command for Leopard that one could use to  
make the Help window behave like a normal window.
That's no longer possible in Snow Leopard.

This is why I hardly use the Help panels. The behaviour since Leopard  
is too irritating.

Finally: I have no clue why Apple made the Help system so stupid (and  


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