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To Access MVPs regarding Access 2003 Help

I recently started using Access 2003 for the first time. I wanted to
pass on some comments about the Help system to Access MVPs who frequent
this board. I'm doing this in the hope that some of what I say may be
passed on to Microsoft.

Microsoft has implemented a combination local and web based help system
in Access 2003. The local Help installed on your hard drive is fast, but
the content is abbreviated. For really useful help you have to use
Microsoft Office online.

The problem with this is that it's way too slow. This is not just a
quibble. About thirty years ago IBM did a renowned White Paper on the
effect of response time on productivity. It found that a change from one
second to subsecond response time improved productivity. Having to wait
30 seconds for help to be displayed has an effect that goes beyond just
the 30 seconds lost. (I have a cable connection).

IMO we might see far fewer entry-level questions on this board if
Microsoft hadn't so degraded the Access help system, which has been a
sore point since A2000.

If this makes sense to you, I hope you pass it on to anyone who may be
listening at Microsoft.

Thanks for your attention.
Nov 13 '05 #1
27 2843

"Bruce Dodds" <br********@com cast.net> wrote in message
news:PJnXc.3199 79$%_6.252428@a ttbi_s01...
I recently started using Access 2003 for the first time. I wanted to
pass on some comments about the Help system to Access MVPs who frequent
this board. I'm doing this in the hope that some of what I say may be
passed on to Microsoft.

Microsoft has implemented a combination local and web based help system
in Access 2003. The local Help installed on your hard drive is fast, but
the content is abbreviated. For really useful help you have to use
Microsoft Office online.

The problem with this is that it's way too slow. This is not just a
quibble. About thirty years ago IBM did a renowned White Paper on the
effect of response time on productivity. It found that a change from one
second to subsecond response time improved productivity. Having to wait
30 seconds for help to be displayed has an effect that goes beyond just
the 30 seconds lost. (I have a cable connection).

IMO we might see far fewer entry-level questions on this board if
Microsoft hadn't so degraded the Access help system, which has been a
sore point since A2000.

If this makes sense to you, I hope you pass it on to anyone who may be
listening at Microsoft.

Thanks for your attention.

AFAIK, the online help was implemented FOR MVPs so they could answer
questions more accurately in newsgroups!

Nov 13 '05 #2
Thank you for your comments, Bruce.

For anyone who is not aware, you can (and should) disable the online help
and just go with the local help, through:
Tools | Options | General | Service Options | Online Content.

Then if you need to search the knowledgebase, open the browser to
support.microso ft.com. That seems to me to be the best of both worlds: fast
local help, and the slower web-based help only when you ask for it.

The help is certainly improved over A2000 and A2002, but is not yet back to
the standard it was in A97, e.g.with the searching. Let me assure you that
MS has heard from us on this issue, with a considerable level of decibels.

--
Allen Browne - Microsoft MVP. Perth, Western Australia.
Tips for Access users - http://allenbrowne.com/tips.html
Reply to group, rather than allenbrowne at mvps dot org.

"Bruce Dodds" <br********@com cast.net> wrote in message
news:PJnXc.3199 79$%_6.252428@a ttbi_s01...
I recently started using Access 2003 for the first time. I wanted to pass
on some comments about the Help system to Access MVPs who frequent this
board. I'm doing this in the hope that some of what I say may be passed on
to Microsoft.

Microsoft has implemented a combination local and web based help system in
Access 2003. The local Help installed on your hard drive is fast, but the
content is abbreviated. For really useful help you have to use Microsoft
Office online.

The problem with this is that it's way too slow. This is not just a
quibble. About thirty years ago IBM did a renowned White Paper on the
effect of response time on productivity. It found that a change from one
second to subsecond response time improved productivity. Having to wait 30
seconds for help to be displayed has an effect that goes beyond just the
30 seconds lost. (I have a cable connection).

IMO we might see far fewer entry-level questions on this board if
Microsoft hadn't so degraded the Access help system, which has been a sore
point since A2000.

If this makes sense to you, I hope you pass it on to anyone who may be
listening at Microsoft.

Thanks for your attention.

Nov 13 '05 #3
Allen Browne wrote:
Thank you for your comments, Bruce.

For anyone who is not aware, you can (and should) disable the online help
and just go with the local help, through:
Tools | Options | General | Service Options | Online Content.

Then if you need to search the knowledgebase, open the browser to
support.microso ft.com. That seems to me to be the best of both worlds: fast
local help, and the slower web-based help only when you ask for it.

The help is certainly improved over A2000 and A2002, but is not yet back to
the standard it was in A97, e.g.with the searching. Let me assure you that
MS has heard from us on this issue, with a considerable level of decibels.

Thanks, Allen. One can disable online help, and I have done so. The
problem is that the local help doesn't have much in it, or at least
that's my impression based on my use of it so far.

Nov 13 '05 #4
"Hans Giebenrath" <no****@invalid .com> wrote:
X-Complaints-To: ab***@vnet-inc.com
Another posting from a troll hangout. vnet-inc.com.
AFAIK, the online help was implemented FOR MVPs so they could answer
questions more accurately in newsgroups!


We've been complaining since A2000 that help is terrible. We're not at all impressed
with A2003 help either. I still use A97 help whenever I need to lookup something.

Tony
--
Tony Toews, Microsoft Access MVP
Please respond only in the newsgroups so that others can
read the entire thread of messages.
Microsoft Access Links, Hints, Tips & Accounting Systems at
http://www.granite.ab.ca/accsmstr.htm
Nov 13 '05 #5
In Access go to Help|Contact Us. Choose the option to "Send us your
comments". The more people MS hears from directly, the better they listen.

--
Wayne Morgan
Microsoft Access MVP
"Bruce Dodds" <br********@com cast.net> wrote in message
news:opoXc.7334 6$mD.61812@attb i_s02...
Allen Browne wrote:
Thank you for your comments, Bruce.

For anyone who is not aware, you can (and should) disable the online help
and just go with the local help, through:
Tools | Options | General | Service Options | Online Content.

Then if you need to search the knowledgebase, open the browser to
support.microso ft.com. That seems to me to be the best of both worlds:
fast local help, and the slower web-based help only when you ask for it.

The help is certainly improved over A2000 and A2002, but is not yet back
to the standard it was in A97, e.g.with the searching. Let me assure you
that MS has heard from us on this issue, with a considerable level of
decibels.

Thanks, Allen. One can disable online help, and I have done so. The
problem is that the local help doesn't have much in it, or at least that's
my impression based on my use of it so far.

Nov 13 '05 #6
Wayne Morgan wrote:
In Access go to Help|Contact Us. Choose the option to "Send us your
comments". The more people MS hears from directly, the better they listen.

Heh. I was going to, but in my copy of Access Help|Contact Us lists just
their web site address "For all of our support offerings".

Maybe the fact that I'm using a corporate license copy has something to
do with it. Or maybe MVPs get a special version of Access offering the
option of sending feedback. :)

Nov 13 '05 #7

"Tony Toews" <tt****@teluspl anet.net> wrote in message
news:qp******** *************** *********@4ax.c om...
"Hans Giebenrath" <no****@invalid .com> wrote:
X-Complaints-To: ab***@vnet-inc.com
Another posting from a troll hangout. vnet-inc.com.
AFAIK, the online help was implemented FOR MVPs so they could answer
questions more accurately in newsgroups!


We've been complaining since A2000 that help is terrible. We're not at

all impressed with A2003 help either. I still use A97 help whenever I need to lookup something.
Tony
--

The truth is the truth, Tony, no matter where it comes from.

Thanks for reminding us once again that your knowledge of Access does not
extend beyond 1997.

Hans


Nov 13 '05 #8
Roger, try this link instead.

http://office.microsoft.com/assistan...ES790020061033

--
Wayne Morgan
Microsoft Access MVP
"Bruce Dodds" <br********@com cast.net> wrote in message
news:EfpXc.3201 89$%_6.100131@a ttbi_s01...
Wayne Morgan wrote:
In Access go to Help|Contact Us. Choose the option to "Send us your
comments". The more people MS hears from directly, the better they
listen.

Heh. I was going to, but in my copy of Access Help|Contact Us lists just
their web site address "For all of our support offerings".

Maybe the fact that I'm using a corporate license copy has something to do
with it. Or maybe MVPs get a special version of Access offering the option
of sending feedback. :)

Nov 13 '05 #9
Wayne Morgan wrote:
Roger, try this link instead.

http://office.microsoft.com/assistan...ES790020061033

Wayne, thanks for the link. I did send a comment.

Nov 13 '05 #10

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