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F1Help Command 

Displays the Help topic associated with the specified keyword.

Help.F1Help F1Keyword


Required. A string representing the F1 keyword emitted by the UI element and assigned to its help topic.

The Help.F1Help command can also be issued by using the alias Help.

>Help vs.commandwindow

Debugging Information

The user does not customarily see F1 keywords, and not all help topics are assigned them. If the current IDE context has an F1 keyword, you may view it in the Dynamic Help window.

To display debugging information in the Dynamic Help window

  1. Close Visual Studio 2005 if it is not already closed.

  2. Open the Windows Registry Editor by issuing the command


    from the command line.

  3. Locate the following key in the registry tree:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\8.0\Dynamic Help
  4. Select New from the Edit menu of the Registry Editor, and choose String Value. Give this new string value the name Display Debug Output in Retail and enter the value YES.

  5. Restart Visual Studio 2005.

  6. Select Dynamic Help from the Help menu

    The Dynamic Help window opens. Dock it in a convenient location.

To test your new registry key, select an IDE window and press F1. Selecting the Solution Explorer, for example, will display output similar to:

--- Active Context ---
--- Keywords - priority: 900 ---
(F1 Kwd) keyword=VS.SolutionExplorer
--- Keywords - priority: 800 ---
(Kwd) keyword=VS.SolutionExplorer.EnterpriseTemplate
--- Keywords - priority: 100 ---
(Kwd) KEYWORD=VS.Ambient
--- Attributes ---

The Keywords emitted to the active context are listed by priority, followed by any Attributes to be matched. In the preceding example, the output shows that the Solution Explorer window calls the F1 keyword VS.SolutionExplorer. This keyword is assigned to the User Interface Reference help topic Solution Explorer. Therefore, that help topic is given a high priority of 900, which brings it to the very top of the Dynamic Help window, and thus into the help viewer.


Help topics that don't have F1 keywords assigned to them can still match attribute values present in the active context. This increases their ranking, thus raising their position in the Dynamic Help window.