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I think that Office 2003 help system is horrible. Do you agree?

P: n/a
Hello everybody,

I wrote this comment in another message of mine, but decided to post it
again as a standalone message.

I think that Microsoft's Office 2003 help system is horrible, probably
the worst I
ever seen.

I almost cannot find anything I need, including things I
know their name. I just don't know how this help system works. For
example, this system does not recognize quotes: If I type "A B", it
considers it as A and B, and maybe A or B, I don't know. This stupid
system does not recognize quotation marks!(?)

I don't want to write now exactly why I think the help system is
horrible, it just doesn't work for me. For me, the first and foremost
thing is to be able to search for text, and in this stupid help system
it is not possible. I also don't think it does other things well, such
suggesting information. Most of the time I manage to find information
because I recall the correct keyword, or I just Google for answers.

I want to know if you also share my opinion about this, if you agree
with me or it is just something I think and not others.

BTW, I am referring both to Access 2003 help system and Office 2003
help system as a whole.

ThanQ very much,

Jonathan Orlev

Jan 7 '07 #1
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10 Replies


P: n/a
Hi, Jonathan.
I think that Microsoft's Office 2003 help system is horrible, probably
the worst I
ever seen.
Access 2000 Online Help was even worse. Once you get used to the split
format, you'll be able to find things a little easier when searching on key
words. If you're programming in VBA, use the VB Editor's "Type a question
for help." If you're designing a query or a form, use the standard Access
window's "Type a question for help." One can search by topic in the "book"
interface by selecting the blue question mark in the built-in toolbar, then
selecting the "Table of Contents" hyperlink, then expanding the desired
chapter to see individual topics.

And if you haven't turned off the feature to search Microsoft Office Online
(I have, because it was useless years ago and may have improved since then,
but I'll never know), you can use that to get help, too.

HTH.
Gunny

See http://www.QBuilt.com for all your database needs.
See http://www.Access.QBuilt.com for Microsoft Access tips and tutorials.
http://www.Access.QBuilt.com/html/ex...ributors2.html for contact
info.
"JonathanOrlev" <Jo***********@gmail.comwrote in message
news:11*********************@42g2000cwt.googlegrou ps.com...
Hello everybody,

I wrote this comment in another message of mine, but decided to post it
again as a standalone message.

I think that Microsoft's Office 2003 help system is horrible, probably
the worst I
ever seen.

I almost cannot find anything I need, including things I
know their name. I just don't know how this help system works. For
example, this system does not recognize quotes: If I type "A B", it
considers it as A and B, and maybe A or B, I don't know. This stupid
system does not recognize quotation marks!(?)

I don't want to write now exactly why I think the help system is
horrible, it just doesn't work for me. For me, the first and foremost
thing is to be able to search for text, and in this stupid help system
it is not possible. I also don't think it does other things well, such
suggesting information. Most of the time I manage to find information
because I recall the correct keyword, or I just Google for answers.

I want to know if you also share my opinion about this, if you agree
with me or it is just something I think and not others.

BTW, I am referring both to Access 2003 help system and Office 2003
help system as a whole.

ThanQ very much,

Jonathan Orlev

Jan 7 '07 #2

P: n/a
JonathanOrlev wrote:
Hello everybody,

I wrote this comment in another message of mine, but decided to post it
again as a standalone message.

I think that Microsoft's Office 2003 help system is horrible, probably
the worst I
ever seen.

I almost cannot find anything I need, including things I
know their name. I just don't know how this help system works. For
example, this system does not recognize quotes: If I type "A B", it
considers it as A and B, and maybe A or B, I don't know. This stupid
system does not recognize quotation marks!(?)

I don't want to write now exactly why I think the help system is
horrible, it just doesn't work for me. For me, the first and foremost
thing is to be able to search for text, and in this stupid help system
it is not possible. I also don't think it does other things well, such
suggesting information. Most of the time I manage to find information
because I recall the correct keyword, or I just Google for answers.

I want to know if you also share my opinion about this, if you agree
with me or it is just something I think and not others.
When Office 2000 came out, it was called the Helpless system. Was then,
is now.

Anyone associated with the help system at MS should consider themselves
the dregs of tech writers. They should leave work each day with slumped
shoulders and shame in their eyes for working on and producing such
crap, maybe call a suicide prevention line when they get home and hit
the booze, as they ponder their fate.

BTW, MS doesn't care. You are stuck with their offerings.

Jan 7 '07 #3

P: n/a
Per JonathanOrlev:
>I think that Microsoft's Office 2003 help system is horrible, probably
the worst I have ever seen.
>I want to know if you also share my opinion about this, if you agree
with me or it is just something I think and not others.
I agree 100%. Even worse, IMHO bc MS is such a big company with such vast
resources. The change seems gratuitous to me.

Can somebody tell me what the problem was with the original Window Help
standard? Seemed to work pretty well for me. (the one with the .HLP files)
--
PeteCresswell
Jan 7 '07 #4

P: n/a
"salad" <oi*@vinegar.comwrote in message
news:T7*****************@newsread4.news.pas.earthl ink.net...
When Office 2000 came out, it was called the Helpless system. Was then,
is now.
Actually, a2003 help is not too bad.

Two things that you need to keep in mind:

ms-access is both a user tool, and a developers tool. So, if you need help
on the programming side, then need to hit ctrl-g (to jump to the code editor
side, and then use help. All help at that point will be for the vba code
side.

If you use help on the forms/UI side..then you get help for general use..and
not code. So, help has been split, and you have to keep this in mind.

Help is now for end users, or for developers...it is two sided.

Further, the a2003 help has a nice (and often) requested sql documentation
for jet sql.

There is now a nice full listing of VBA functions, events and methods. It is
laid out quite nice....
(while in vba code, go help->Microsoft Visual Basic help.

Notice the first entry on the right side...."Microsoft Access Visual basic
help"

You click on this, and you get a very nice drill down of all of the
functions, methods etc....

Further, you can hit help *while* in sql builder, and get sql help (previous
versions of ms-access help did not give context help for sql).

Even compared to a97, many access features are FAR BETTER documented in
a2003 help. For example, when you use the not-in list event, you REALLY
REALLY need to know about the "response" constants. Try and find those
constants in a97...in a2003, they are listed right where they need to be.

In some ways, the a97 help worked really well, but now having used a2003, I
find the help system quite nice in a2003....

Just keep in mind the above "division", and use the code side to launch code
help, and the UI/forms side for ms-access help.

Try the above tips, they really help......

--
Albert D. Kallal (Access MVP)
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
pl*****************@msn.com
Jan 7 '07 #5

P: n/a
JonathanOrlev wrote:
I think that Microsoft's Office 2003 help system is horrible, probably
the worst I
ever seen.
Agreed.

Not sure why they left the excellent A97 help model. I reached the
proficiency I have in Access thanks largly to the fantastic A97 help
(and, of course, in no small part to the great folks on cdma!). I'd
never be where I am if I'd had to rely on the garbage help system that
A2003 has.
--
Tim http://www.ucs.mun.ca/~tmarshal/
^o<
/#) "Burp-beep, burp-beep, burp-beep?" - Quaker Jake
/^^ "Whatcha doin?" - Ditto "TIM-MAY!!" - Me
Jan 7 '07 #6

P: n/a
"(PeteCresswell)" <x@y.Invalidwrote in
news:4m********************************@4ax.com:
Can somebody tell me what the problem was with the original Window
Help standard?
It wasn't "Internetized" so when MS got the Internet religion, they
had to Internetize every division, and HTML Help was the way to
Internetize Help files.

It actually makes a great deal of sense to use HTML for delivering
help files, just not the way MS did it!

--
David W. Fenton http://www.dfenton.com/
usenet at dfenton dot com http://www.dfenton.com/DFA/
Jan 7 '07 #7

P: n/a
In article <1168186453.782939.83890@
42g2000cwt.googlegroups.com>, Jo***********@gmail.com says...
Hello everybody,

I wrote this comment in another message of mine, but decided to post it
again as a standalone message.

I think that Microsoft's Office 2003 help system is horrible, probably
the worst I
ever seen.

I almost cannot find anything I need, including things I
know their name. I just don't know how this help system works. For
example, this system does not recognize quotes: If I type "A B", it
considers it as A and B, and maybe A or B, I don't know. This stupid
system does not recognize quotation marks!(?)

I don't want to write now exactly why I think the help system is
horrible, it just doesn't work for me. For me, the first and foremost
thing is to be able to search for text, and in this stupid help system
it is not possible. I also don't think it does other things well, such
suggesting information. Most of the time I manage to find information
because I recall the correct keyword, or I just Google for answers.

I want to know if you also share my opinion about this, if you agree
with me or it is just something I think and not others.

BTW, I am referring both to Access 2003 help system and Office 2003
help system as a whole.

ThanQ very much,

Jonathan Orlev

Several of the big name experts have stated opinions, but as a
big name nobody I agree with Albert Kallal. I have several
topics I printed from Access 97 help years ago and just
compared them against Access 2003 help for VBA and see
virtually no difference. If Access 97 is the Gold Standard for
Access help, then Access 2003 equals that standard. For sure I
am a person who needs to run to the help files much more often
than the expert users.
Jan 12 '07 #8

P: n/a
Mike Gramelspacher wrote:
Several of the big name experts have stated opinions, but as a
big name nobody I agree with Albert Kallal.
Albert may be right in that the indiviudal topics are better and more
fully defined. However, here's a simple test for you.

Say you're working on moving around controls based on results of a
recordset or record, or whatever. You've forgotten how many twips are
in an inch. Try and find twip in A97 help and then look for it in
A2003. In either the 2003 VBA window or the UI side.

I think if you can *find* the topic you're looking for, I'd definitely
agree with Albert that the files are more comprehensive. It's trying to
find the damn things you need.

Consider orienteering and trying to set out and navigate your way across
the countryside (forget about GPS for now). A97 help and A2003 help is
the same difference as using a good topographical map versus a road map.
--
Tim http://www.ucs.mun.ca/~tmarshal/
^o<
/#) "Burp-beep, burp-beep, burp-beep?" - Quaker Jake
/^^ "Be Careful, Big Bird!" - Ditto "TIM-MAY!!" - Me
Jan 12 '07 #9

P: n/a
Say you're working on moving around controls based on results of a
recordset or record, or whatever. You've forgotten how many twips are in
an inch. Try and find twip in A97 help and then look for it in A2003. In
either the 2003 VBA window or the UI side.
Actually, I just did......

I was on a form in design mode.

ctrl-g
alt-h
<enter key>

the above 3 keys are hard wired into my head...

Ok, I type in twips, and then hit enter key

(note that so far, I not used the mouse).

The list of "results" is 47, and the FIRST hit in the list is:

ImageHeight property

I click on it, and I get:

=================================
ImageHeight Property

See Also Applies To Example

You can use the ImageHeight property in Visual Basic to determine the height
in twips of the picture in an image control. Read/write Long.

expression.ImageHeight

expression Required. An expression that returns one of the objects in the
Applies To list.

Remarks
The ImageHeight property is an Integer value equal to the height of a
picture in twips.

This property is read-only in all views.

You can use the ImageHeight property together with the ImageWidth property
to determine the size of a picture in an image control. You could then use
this information to change the image control's Height and Width properties
to match the size of the picture displayed.
============================================

There is more text, but lets stop at above.

If you look close, in the FIRST sentacne, the word "twips" is a "context"
link in the help file (not quite a hyper link..but, the
word is green, and is underlined. So, if you click on it, you get a
definition:

When I click on it, the FIRST sentence becomes expanded to:

=======
You can use the ImageHeight property in Visual Basic to determine the height
in twips (twip: Unit of measurement that is equal to 1/20 of a point, or
1/1,440 of an inch. There are 567 twips in a centimeter.) of the picture in
an image control. Read/write Long.
======

So, the VERY FIRST hit in the search is what I clicked on, and one mouse
click later...I have a def of twips. As I said, and as I use a2003 help...it
generally better then 97....
--
Albert D. Kallal (Access MVP)
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
pl*****************@msn.com

Jan 13 '07 #10

P: n/a
Albert D. Kallal wrote:
So, the VERY FIRST hit in the search is what I clicked on, and one mouse
click later...I have a def of twips. As I said, and as I use a2003 help...it
generally better then 97....
Type in twip (singular) and tell me what you get, Albert...
--
Tim http://www.ucs.mun.ca/~tmarshal/
^o<
/#) "Burp-beep, burp-beep, burp-beep?" - Quaker Jake
/^^ "Whatcha doin?" - Ditto "TIM-MAY!!" - Me
Jan 13 '07 #11

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