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Online, Help, Environment, Options Dialog Box

Visual Studio 2008

Use this page of the Options dialog box to specify what Help sources you intend to use for Help searches and F1. You can access this dialog box by clicking Options on the Tools menu, moving to Help in the Environment folder, and then clicking Online. If the Online page does not appear in the list, select Show all settings in the Options dialog box.


The dialog boxes and menu commands you see might differ from those described in Help depending on your active settings or edition. To change your settings, choose Import and Export Settings on the Tools menu. For more information, see Visual Studio Settings.

These options apply to full-text search, and also to F1 Help.

Try online first, then local

Displays content from MSDN Online, if available. If no Help is found on MSDN Online, locally installed Help content is then displayed.

Try local first, then online

Displays content from sources installed on your computer. If no Help is found locally, MSDN Online content is then displayed.

Try local only, not online

Displays content from sources installed on your computer only. If no Help is found, an error topic appears.


List the possible Codezone Community Web sites that can be included in Help searches.

Provider details

Displays a brief description for each provider selected in the Codezone Community list.

Download Provider List

Click to download a list of Codezone community providers. You must have an active Internet connection to download providers.


This option appears only if you have never been connected to the Internet while Visual Studio is being used. For more information, see Help Sources: Local Help and Online Help.

These options affect full-text searches. By selecting or clearing a provider, you are adding or removing the provider from the search results list. The order in which providers are listed in Search these providers determines the order in which the search results for the provider are displayed on the Search page in Help.

Local Help

Help content installed on the local computer.

MSDN Online

MSDN Online content on the Web.

Codezone Community

Content from partner Web sites selected in the Codezone Community option.


Content from online discussion groups, forums, and so on

Displays the Microsoft privacy policy for online use.