Help and Support Center Navigation

Let's continue the Help and Support Center tour, and start to put it to use. To do so, you'll need to understand the search and navigational features.

Using the Search box, located in the upper-left corner of the Help and Support Center, is straightforward; if you've used a search engine before, it will be second nature. Using Search is much faster than fishing through each and every topic, looking for the item that will be most helpful.

After you enter a phrase or topic and click the green arrow, the search results display in three groups, as explained in the following list. Figure 2 shows the results of one such search.

Figure 2. Search results are displayed in three groups.

You will see the search results divided into three sections:

  • Suggested Topics. This group is populated by comparing the search terms you entered with an index of keywords defined in the compiled help files. Because the search is made against this index and not against the entire contents of the Help and Support Center, the Suggested Topics list is generated rather quickly. What's also cool about these Suggested Topics is that you're oftentimes presented with a list of possible Tasks that might provide a solution. Pretty handy in my estimation; you're there in most cases because you want to do something and then go on about your day.

  • Full-Text Search Matches. This group displays topics for which the content of the help file matches exactly with the phrase entered in the Search box. The search body is much larger in this case, and you should find that the full-text matches take longer to generate than the Suggested Topics list.

  • Microsoft Knowledge Base. This last group looks at Microsoft's collection of documentation that isn't available in the local help files, but rather is found by searching through the Microsoft Website, trying to find relevant matches in Knowledge Base articles. It also relies on an active Internet connection. These Knowledge Base articles aren't really help files, but rather are a collection of articles that have been collected over the years by tech support people and experts at Microsoft.

Using Help and Support Center Favorites

You can save time when working with Help and Support Center by adding content to the Favorites list. The Help and Support Center contains content for more than 10,000 topics that have been put together from more than 200 compiled help (.chm) files. When you place items in your Favorites list, be sure to give them meaningful titles. Items saved in the Favorites list are placed there in the order in which they are saved, and there is no way to rearrange them.

Two final search notes:

  • One, search terms are not case sensitive, and if you enter two or more words, the search algorithm looks first for topics containing the exact combination of words before returning results for each word separately.

  • Two, you can run a search against the all help files or only a portion thereof. Use the "Search within previous results" check box to control this behavior.

Spring Into Windows XP Service Pack 2
Spring Into Windows XP Service Pack 2
ISBN: 013167983X
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 275
Authors: Brian Culp © 2008-2017.
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