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Windows XP Professional: The Missing Manual by L.J. Zacker, Craig Zacker, David Pogue

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“What’s This?”: Help for Dialog Boxes

If you’re ever facing a dialog box (like the one shown in Figure 5-4) while scanning a cluster of oddly worded options, Windows XP’s “What’s This?” feature can come to the rescue. It makes pop-up captions appear for text boxes, checkboxes, option buttons, and other dialog box elements.

After clicking the question-mark icon at the upper-right corner, you can click any control in the dialog box—in this case, the Screen Area slider—to read about its function. To make the pop-up box go away, click anywhere within its border. When the pop-up box containing the answer to What’s This? appears on your screen, simply right-click in the box and choose Copy (to copy the text of the pop-up to the Clipboard) or Print Topic (to print the help page for that topic).

Figure 5-4. After clicking the question-mark icon at the upper-right corner, you can click any control in the dialog box—in this case, the Screen Area slider—to read about its function. To make the pop-up box go away, click anywhere within its border. When the pop-up box containing the answer to What’s This? appears on your screen, simply right-click in the box and choose Copy (to copy the text of the pop-up to the Clipboard) or Print Topic (to print the help page for that topic).

You can summon these pop-up identifiers (see Figure 5-4) in either of two ways:

  • Right-click something in the dialog box. In the world’s shortest shortcut menu that now appears, click What’s This?

  • Click the question mark in the upper-right corner of the dialog box, and then click the element you want identified.

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