When I do Help | Search | whatever I see the blue left-arrow pointing to a menu item. I know that if I press Enter, it will execute it, but is there a shortcut that shifts the focus to the item that is pointed by the arrow, so that I could, for example, move to the menu item just above it?

The way I do it now, is I search, I memorize the submenu hierarchy, and I move there manually with the mouse, but I'm pretty sure I saw a shortcut to do this somewhere.

  • I don't know of a keyboard shortcut, but once the menu is open, you can move the mouse cursor over to it. No need to re-navigate through the whole menu structure to open it again.
    – daGUY
    Commented Feb 12, 2014 at 1:13

2 Answers 2


If you slowly move the mouse horizontally to the menu item that is highlighted, the menu will stay open.

You are, most likely, having trouble with highlighting another choice on your way to the menu item of interest. Don't let your mouse leave the highlighted row while traversing to the open menu and you should not have any problems.

This works this way on OS X 10.8.5.

  • Thanks, I was trying to avoid using the mouse. I actually use the keyboard shortcut cmd+shift+? to access the help menu
    – nachocab
    Commented Feb 12, 2014 at 18:31
  • @nachocab: As I'm sure you discovered, there's no obvious way to do what you desire. What about 'Mouse Keys?' System Preferences / Accessibility / Mouse & Trackpad / Enable Mouse Keys to enable. Then you could use number pad keys to move the mouse pointer... Commented Feb 12, 2014 at 20:18

After pressing command-shift-slash (command-shift-/ or command-?) to hail the menubar's help-search, typing your search term, and pressing the arrowdown key to highlight the preferred answer…you can then press command-arrowleft or command-arrowright to move focus across the menubar, and then arrowdown or arrowup keys to move upward and downward through the lists.

You'd still need to remember where in the tree you're trying to reach, so it's not quite the answer you want, but it does avoid using the mouse. Maybe a good feature request for http://www.apple.com/feedback/.

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