Visual Studio provides extensive help features. The Help menu commands are summarized in Fig. 2.23.
How Do I
Contains links to relevant topics, including how to upgrade programs and learn more about Web services, architecture and design, files and I/O, data, debugging and more.
Finds help articles based on search keywords.
Displays an alphabetized list of topics you can browse.
Displays a categorized table of contents in which help articles are organized by topic.
Dynamic help (Fig. 2.24) is an excellent way to get information quickly about the IDE and its features. It provides a list of articles pertaining to the "current content" (i.e., the selected items). To open the Dynamic Help window, select Help > Dynamic Help. Then, when you click a word or component (such as a form or control), links to help articles appear in the Dynamic Help window. The window lists help topics, code samples and other relevant information. There is also a toolbar that provides access to the How Do I, Search, Index and Contents help features.
Figure 2.24. Dynamic Help window.
Visual Studio also provides context-sensitive help, which is similar to dynamic help, except that it immediately displays a relevant help article rather than presenting a list of articles. To use context-sensitive help, click an item, such as the form, and press the F1 key. Figure 2.25 displays help articles related to a form.
Figure 2.25. Using context-sensitive help.
The Help options can be set in the Options dialog (accessed by selecting Tools > Options...). To display all the settings that you can modify (including the settings for the Help options), make sure that the Show all settings checkbox in the lower-left corner of the dialog is checked (Fig. 2.26). To change whether the Help is displayed internally or externally, select Help on the left, then locate the Show Help using: drop-down list on the right. Depending on your preference, selecting External Help Viewer displays a relevant help article in a separate window outside the IDE (some programmers like to view Web pages separately from the project on which they are working in the IDE). Selecting Integrated Help Viewer displays a help article as a tabbed window inside the IDE
Figure 2.26. Options dialog displaying Help settings.
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Using Visual Programming to Create a Simple Program Displaying Text and an Image
Introduction to Computers, the Internet and Visual C#
Introduction to the Visual C# 2005 Express Edition IDE
Introduction to C# Applications
Introduction to Classes and Objects
Control Statements: Part 1
Control Statements: Part 2
Methods: A Deeper Look
Classes and Objects: A Deeper Look
Object-Oriented Programming: Inheritance
Polymorphism, Interfaces & Operator Overloading
Graphical User Interface Concepts: Part 1
Graphical User Interface Concepts: Part 2
Strings, Characters and Regular Expressions
Graphics and Multimedia
Files and Streams
Extensible Markup Language (XML)
Database, SQL and ADO.NET
ASP.NET 2.0, Web Forms and Web Controls
Networking: Streams-Based Sockets and Datagrams
Searching and Sorting
Appendix A. Operator Precedence Chart
Appendix B. Number Systems
Appendix C. Using the Visual Studio 2005 Debugger
Appendix D. ASCII Character Set
Appendix E. Unicode®
Appendix F. Introduction to XHTML: Part 1
Appendix G. Introduction to XHTML: Part 2
Appendix H. HTML/XHTML Special Characters
Appendix I. HTML/XHTML Colors
Appendix J. ATM Case Study Code
Appendix K. UML 2: Additional Diagram Types
Appendix L. Simple Types