#6 ✓invalid

Menu items should use title case

Reported by glebd | December 23rd, 2010 @ 11:45 PM

Menu items should use title case: "Open File" instead of "Open file" (Apple HIG)

Comments and changes to this ticket

  • rsms

    rsms December 23rd, 2010 @ 11:50 PM

    • State changed from “new” to “invalid”
    • Assigned user set to “rsms”

    No, they shouldn't. Title Case is American English, aka old English and a time of the past. Sentence case rules. Apple HIG do explicitly state that you as the developer should chose either Title Case or Sentence case. What we should do is to normalize all labels to use Sentence case (I think some use the default values still).

  • glebd

    glebd December 23rd, 2010 @ 11:57 PM

    Fair enough, this is a minor point anyway. FWIW, I always try to follow the same conventions Apple uses in their apps in order to be consistent, and they use Title Case in menus.

  • Jay

    Jay December 24th, 2010 @ 12:05 AM

    Yes, minor, but according to
    it lists "Title" as the style for "Menu Items".

  • zachriggle

    zachriggle December 24th, 2010 @ 06:23 AM

    Find an application that doesn't use title case. All of Apple's applications do. Title case is applied even to short words, e.g. Terminal View > Scroll To Top.

  • Andy Lee

    Andy Lee December 24th, 2010 @ 01:01 PM

    Definitely menus should be title case. In a way it's minor but to a discerning eye anything but title case in menus makes the app look like a Java app or windows port, and inconsistent case makes it look sloppy.

    Regarding short words: in general they seem to be lower case except when a preposition is at the end. Thus, in Terminal

    Shell > Export Text As...


    Shell > Use Settings as Default

    I would say Scroll To Top is a typo. I just noticed Safari has View > Hide search Bar which is also a typo.

  • Andy Lee

    Andy Lee December 24th, 2010 @ 01:30 PM

    Here's the relevant section within the HIG page Jay linked to. I'm not sure the link will work from here -- in the comment preview it leads to an Apple "wrong page" page. So you may have to copy and paste the link, or search for "Capitalization of Interface Element Labels and Text".

    Not to harp on a minor thing, but I don't think this is invalid, and compared to some other bugs it's quick to fix.

  • Rory

    Rory December 25th, 2010 @ 09:14 PM

    I agree with the other commenters – Apple recommends only title case both in their documentation and by example in all of their apps, and I think using sentence case would make the app look sketchy and non-native. If you really want to reform English by moving away from title case, you should go further than sentence case and capitalize only proper nouns, so as to remove the ambiguity of whether “green” is a proper noun in the sentence “Green fell to the floor” (it could be green paint or Mr. Green).

  • ryanf

    ryanf December 27th, 2010 @ 03:59 AM

    I strongly agree that not using title case makes the app look sloppy, just like non-Mac-style toolbars would.

  • Adeel Ahmad Khan

    Adeel Ahmad Khan December 27th, 2010 @ 06:59 AM

    I agree with rsms — sentence case rules, as long as it is consistent within the application.

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  • ronin-130176 (at lighthouseapp)
  • lehni

    lehni January 3rd, 2011 @ 12:17 PM

    I also think that using sentence case makes the app feel non native. Can anybody point out another Cocoa app that uses sentence case? I cannot remember ever having come across one. A good illustration of the resulting problem is "Spelling and grammar", where the entries in the sub-menu are titlecased. It just feels odd.

  • lehni

    lehni January 3rd, 2011 @ 12:23 PM

    Also, I am not sure this is a question of old vs new English, or American vs British.

    The Guardian for example has this in his style guide:

    "Words in titles take initial caps except for a, and, for, from, in, of, the, to (except in initial position): A Tale of Two Cities, Happy End of the World, Shakespeare in Love, The God of Small Things, War and Peace, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, etc."


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  • John

    John December 1st, 2018 @ 09:48 PM

    I agree with rsms — sentence case rules, as long as it is consistent within the application.

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  • jiya

    jiya January 15th, 2019 @ 12:57 PM

    If you are giving title case for menu items then it will be easy for the people to read and identify it. This will give a new outlook for the menu too. Can you share the menu with title case on this page? http://privateamsterdamtours.nl/

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A text editor for Mac OS X

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