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Lesson 4 Getting help with Access
Objective Use the Access Help system to find the information you need.

Getting help with Microsoft Access

Using online Help

Access has a great resource to help you with any questions – the online Help system. As you work through this course you may find that you have questions about more advanced features. The online help system can often provide you with the answers you need. The Help menu also offers other ways to get help with Access if you cannot find the answers you need within the Access online Help system.
The easiest way to access Help is to press the F1 function key. This displays the Office Assistant, a cute little icon (usually in the shape of a paper clip), that acts as your guide to the Help menu. You can ask the Office Assistant questions by typing in the white box and clicking Search to see a list of help topics that may answer your question. You then click a topic to view the actual help.
Once you’re in the Help system you may want to use the features in the Microsoft Access Help window to find help on additional topics. The three tabs, Index, Contents, and Answer Wizard, in the first pane of the Help window can help you find what you need. The following simulation guides you through the process of using Access’s online Help.

Getting Additional Help with Access

As you experiment with the new functions and tools you learn here in this course, you may sometimes need an extra push in the right direction. The first place you should look is Access’s Help system. The Help system in Access isn’t perfect. To a new user, the Help system may seem like a clunky add-in that returns a perplexing list of topics that has nothing to do with the original topic being searched. The truth is, however, once you learn how to use the Access Help system effectively, it’s often the fastest and easiest way to get extra help on a topic. Following are some tips that will help you get the most out of Access’s Help system:

Location matters when asking for help.

You may remember the Help system in older versions of Access being a lot more user-friendly and more effective than newer versions of Access. Well, rest assured that you aren’t just imagining it. The fact is, Microsoft fundamentally changed the mechanics of the Access Help system. In Access 2019, there are actually two Help systems: one providing help on Access features and another providing help on VBA programming topics. Instead of doing a global search with your criteria, Access throws your search criteria only against the Help system that is relevant to your current location. This essentially means that the help you get is determined by the area of Access in which you are working. So, if you need help on a topic that involves VBA programming, you’ll need to be in the VBA Editor while performing your search. On the other hand, if you need help on building a query, it’s best to be in the Query Design view. This will ensure that your keyword search is performed on the correct Help system.

Online help is better than offline help

When you search for help on a topic, Access checks to see if you’re connected to the Internet. If you are, Access returns help results based on online content from Microsoft’s website. If you aren’t, Access uses the Help files that are locally stored with Microsoft Office. One way to maximize the help you get in Access is to use the online help. Online help is generally better than offline help because the content you find with online help is often more detailed and includes updated information, as well as links to other resources not available offline.
Using Access Help
In the next lesson learn to use the Database window to navigate an Access Database.