How to Make Context-Sensitive Help

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A sophisticated method of providing help is to make it context-sensitive. That is, instead of having the end-user browse through the help system to find the right topic, you can directly display the topic that corresponds to the object (window, field, or button, for example) that the end-user clicks on when requesting What's This? help, or when pressing the F1 key.

What's This? help is a Windows feature that typically provides a small popup window with a description of the object on which the What's This? help cursor has been dropped, or if the F1 key is pressed.

The topic in the popup window is displayed without opening the full help system, and must therefore be referenced by its map number, which is specified when building the help file containing the topic.

The same mechanism that provides What's This? help on fields and buttons, for example, can be used to provide help on entire windows, or dialogs.

Related Topics

How to Make a HTML Help File Containing Context-Sensitive Topics

How to Call Context-Sensitive Help from Objects in Your Application

How to Add a Help Button