Use the Help feature to aid in development activities

Using the help system

The Workbench provides a number ways to provide help information, including context sensitive help and extensive online documentations.

Online help system

The online help system provides access to the documentation, and lets you browse, search, and print it. The documentation is organized into sets of information that are roughly analogous to books. These, along with a full-text search engine and context-sensitive interface help, are designed to help you find the information you need.

The help browser

When you first open the help browser by selecting Help > Help Contents in the Workbench, the first view shown is called the Bookshelf. On the Bookshelf are links to the various groupings of documentation for the product. Click on one of the links to go to the navigation tree for that set of documentation. At any time, you can return to the bookshelf by clicking the Table of Contents button:

Table of Contents button


If you want to find a particular piece of information in the online help, use Search. The help system will search the entire information set, or only a part of it, to find topics that meet the criteria you specify.

Context-sensitive help

If you are working through a task and encounter part of the interface that you do not understand, use infopops. Bring focus to the interface widget in question by clicking on it or using the Tab key, and then press F1. The infopop will provide you with information about the interface and, if appropriate, links to more information.

Accessing and navigating online help

The help browser lets you browse, search, and print online documentation for the product. To open the help browser, select Help > Help Contents in the Workbench. This opens the help browser to the bookshelf, which shows the major sets of documentation available.

To navigate online help:

  1. Select the desired link on the bookshelf.

  2. Expand the topic tree to find the information you are looking for. To view a topic, click the link in the topic tree.

  3. Most topics provide a list of links to related topics at the bottom. Follow these links to learn more.

  4. Use the Go Forward and Go Back buttons. These behave the same way back and forward buttons work in an Internet browser, taking you to topics you have already looked at.

    Back and forward buttons

  5. To synchronize the navigation frame with the current topic, click the Synchronize button. This is helpful if you have followed several links to related topics in several files, and want to see where the current topic fits into the navigation path.

    Synchronize button

As an alternative to browsing the information this way, use the search engine. Type a query into the Search field at the top of the browser and click GO.

Showing and hiding the navigation frame

To increase the space available for viewing the help content, the navigation frame can be hidden.To hide the navigation frame, click the Toggle Navigation button on the Help view's toolbar. To show it, click the button again.

Toggle Navigation button

Accessing context-sensitive help

To access the context-sensitive help for a given widget:

  1. Select the widget by putting focus on it.

  1. Press F1.

This displays an infopop with the description of the selected widget, and, usually, a list of links to related information. You can dismiss the infopop by clicking outside it, or by pressing Esc.


If you want more information than what is shown in the infopop, click a link to related information. This opens the Help browser to the selected topic and closes the infopop. The list of related links stays in the left-hand frame, so you do not have to press F1 again if you are interested in other topics related to the same widget.

Note: Context-sensitive help via F1 is unavailable from toolbar buttons. Instead, let your mouse pointer hover over a toolbar button to view tooltip help for buttons.

Searching online help

The help system includes a powerful full-text search engine that runs simple or complex queries on the documentation to help you find the information you are looking for.

To search the online help:

  1. In the Search field at the top of the Help browser, type the term or terms for which you want to search.

  2. Click GO or press Enter. The result set will be shown in the Search Results view of the Help browser.

  3. To view the content of a topic in the result set, select it. Hits within the selected topic are highlighted.

Tip: You can also search the documentation from inside the Workbench by selecting Search > Help. Type in search terms, optionally select the books you want to search, and click Search. The results will be shown in the Search view. Double-click a result to open the help browser to that topic.

Search - Help

Remember the following search expression rules:

Refining the search results

If the result set is very large, the information you are looking for might not appear in the top 10 or 15 results. You can then refine the search to reduce the number of results.

To refine a search:

  1. Click the Advanced link.

  2. Enter a search expression. In the Advanced Search window, the search expression field is longer, making it easier to enter a complex expression, but any expression you enter here will work from the main browser's search field, too.

  3. Select one or more books (or sets of information) you want to search in. These books are the groups of information that appear on the Bookshelf when you first open the Help browser.

  4. Click Search. The results will be shown in the Search Results view in the Help browser.

Advanced Search

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