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Displaying Pop-up Help

Visual Studio .NET 2003

One way to display Help on Windows Forms is through the Help button, located on the right side of the title bar, accessible through the HelpButton property. Showing Help in this way is well suited to use with dialog boxes. Firstly, dialog boxes shown modally (with the ShowDialog method) have trouble bringing up external Help systems, because modal dialog boxes need to be closed before focus can shift to another window. Additionally, using the Help button requires that there is no Minimize button or Maximize button shown in the title bar. This is a standard dialog-box convention, whereas forms usually have Minimize and Maximize buttons.

Be aware that you can also use the HelpProvider component to link controls to files in a Help system, even if you have implemented pop-up Help. For more information, see Providing Help in a Windows Application.

To display pop-up Help

  1. Drag a HelpProvider component from the Toolbox to your form.

    It will sit in the tray at the bottom of the Windows Forms Designer.

  2. In the Properties window, set the HelpButton property to true. This will display a button with a question mark in it on the right side of the title bar of the form.
    Note   In order for the HelpButton to display, be sure to set the Minimize and Maximize properties to false. For more information on working with the Minimize and Maximize buttons, see Changing the Borders of Windows Forms.
  3. Select the control for which you want to show help on your form and set the HelpString property in the Properties window. This is the string of text that will be displayed in a ToolTip-like window.
  4. Press F5.
  5. Press the Help button on the title bar and click the control on which you set the HelpString property.

See Also

Control Help Using ToolTips | Application Assistance | Windows Forms

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