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Excel® 2007 Power Programming with VBA by John Walkenbach

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Chapter 24. Providing Help for Your Applications

In This Chapter

In this chapter, I discuss several methods of providing help for the users of your Excel applications:

  • Why you should provide user help for your applications

  • How to provide help by using only the components supplied with Excel

  • How to display help files created with the HTML Help System

  • How to associate a help file with your application

  • Other ways to display HTML Help

Computer users have become rather spoiled over the years. In the early days of personal computers, software companies rarely provided onscreen help. And the “help” provided often proved less than helpful. Now, just about all commercial software provides help. And more often than not, the help serves as the primary documentation. Thick software manuals are an endangered species.

Help for Your Excel Applications

If you develop a nontrivial application in Excel, you might want to consider building in some sort of help for end users. Doing so makes the users feel more comfortable with the application and could eliminate many of those time-wasting phone calls from users with basic questions. Another advantage is that help is always available: That is, the instructions can’t be misplaced or buried under a pile of books.

You can provide help for your Excel applications in a number of ways, ranging from simple to complex. The method that you choose depends on your application’s scope and complexity and how much effort you’re willing to put into this phase of development. ...

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