A discussion on why you can not use a button to imitate the format menu bar item for toggling bold and italic attributes:

http://www.cocoabuilder.com/archive/cocoa/165244-changing-fonts-without-font-menu.html#165349

in a nutshell, you use the tag to distinguish between bold (2) and italic (1) traits, but the toggle direction is determined by calling the validateMenuItem method which requires the sender to be a menuItem?

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