Getting Help When You Need It

Access tries to help you as much as possible, but not even a wizard can answer all your questionsit can only help you through the current task. When you have questions, the best place to look is the Help feature. To access this feature, simply press F1 or choose Microsoft Access Help from the Help menu. Doing so will open the Microsoft Access Help pane (refer to Figure 1.1 at the beginning of this chapter).

There are several things you can do at this point:

  • You can search the Help files for a particular word or phrase.

  • View the Help feature's table of contents.

  • Connect via the Internet to Microsoft online support sites for assistance, training, and downloading Office updates.

To close the Help pane, click the Close button (X) at the top right corner of the pane's title bar.

The Help feature is context sensitive. That means, it will open files that best relate to the selected object, item, property, or text. (When Help can't guess, it opens the generic pane you just saw.)

To see the difference between the generic Help Task Pane and the context-sensitive response, open the Catalogs table in design view. Select the Country field (any field will do really), and then select the Input Mask property in the lower pane.

Now, press F1 and Access will display a Help topic that's specific to the Input Mask property, as shown in Figure 17.10. Close the Help window and return to the Catalogs table. Select a different property and press F1 to see a Help topic that pertains to the selected property. That's context-sensitive Help.

Figure 17.10. Display context-sensitive Help topics.




If Help files aren't installed, Access will ask you if you want to install them. Be prepared to insert your Office 2003 CD if you decide to install those files.

Finding Help Online

So far, the Help topics you've seen have been a part of Access' Help files that are available if you install them. There's more information online. To access these sites, click the Microsoft Access Help button on the Database toolbar to open the Help pane shown in Figure 17.11, and then click any choice in the Microsoft Office Online section. Or, choose Microsoft Office Online from the Help menu.

Figure 17.11. Find more information online.


Absolute Beginner's Guide to Microsoft Office Access 2003
Absolute Beginners Guide to Microsoft Office Access 2003
ISBN: 0789729407
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2002
Pages: 124

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