Context-sensitive Help

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Have you tried lately to access the help file for a fairly complex application? There’s a lot of information in there and digging through it to find the one nugget necessary for the task at hand can be time consuming. That’s why, a very long time ago, the Wizards of Windows had a great idea. They provided a framework that developers could use to enable context-sensitive help for their applications. Instead of bringing users to the help files, context-sensitive help brings help files to the users. Specifically, you select the pull-down menu item that you want to know more about, and then press the F1 key. The help file activates and automatically indexes to the section that describes the details of the highlighted item. Beats the heck out of slugging through a long help file, right?

The problem is that almost as quickly as Microsoft supported the standard, they abandoned its use in their own applications. The result is that even if you know what context-sensitive help is, you’ve probably never used it since some of the most popular applications on the planet don’t support it.

The next time you open a DATAQ Instruments WinDaq application, save time and trouble by giving context-sensitive help a try.

 

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