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Using the Combined Help Collection Manager

Visual Studio .NET 2003

If you have multiple Help collections installed on your machine, you can use the Combined Help Collection Manager to selected which collections are included in the default "Visual Studio .NET 2003 Combined Help Collection" (VSCC). Only Help collections already installed on your machine can be selected.

Selecting a Default Help Collection

A Help collection is a set of Help topics available from the Microsoft Visual Studio .NET help system. Your active Help collection is indicated in the Help, Environment, Options Dialog Box. Choose Options from the Tools menu, expand the Environment folder, and select Help. The Preferred Collection dropdown menu displays the Help collection currently in use.

Note   If you are currently using the "Visual Studio .NET 2003 Combined Help Collection," a link to the Combined Help Collection Manager appears at the conclusion of this Help topic.

To retain access to all of your Visual Studio Help, select the "Visual Studio .NET 2003 Combined Help Collection" as your Preferred Collection. This default VSCC Help collection includes all of the documentation that is installed with your version of Visual Studio, as well as any additional Help collections, such as Help for Visual Studio updates and add-ons, that are designed to be integrated with Visual Studio .NET.

When to Modify the Default Help Collection

If you have installed Help for different versions of Visual Studio .NET or Help in different languages, you might wish to modify the default VSCC Help collection. The Combined Help Collection Manager allows you to select which Help collections are included in the default VSCC collection, and which are excluded from it.

Excluding installed Help collections from the VSCC can have both beneficial and unexpected consequences. You can reduce the number of duplicate topics found in the Help Index and Search lists in this way, but you can also remove entire content areas from your Help Table of Contents.

Take care that you do not block your access to documentation that you require. Instead of modifying the default VSCC collection or selecting a non-default Preferred Collection, consider using filters to focus searches on Help topics related to your needs. For more information, see Customizing Dynamic Help.

As you finish modifying the default VSCC Help collection using the Combined Help Collection Manager, you will be asked to close all instances of Visual Studio .NET and Microsoft Document Explorer, and then restart one of these programs.

See Also

Specifying a Preferred Help Collection | Using Help in Visual Studio .NET | Using Existing Filters