SharePoint Development Tip: Getting Context-sensitive F1 Help Directly from the MSDN Library

If you're a developer working in Visual Studio 2005, you can use F1 context-sensitive Help to jump directly to an SDK topic when you highlight a Method, Class, or Property in the code window.

Now that our SharePoint SDKs are live on MSDN, F1 Help functionality works with the Help viewer in Visual Studio 2005 without installing the entire SDK. This is great for a situation where you have Internet access but you don't have the SDK installed on your development machine.

Here's how:

  1. In Visual Studio, press F1.

  2. In Microsoft Document Explorer (Visual Studio’s Help viewer), on the Tools menu, click Options.

  3. Click Online.

  4. Select Try online first, then local.

  5. Click OK.

Now when you type code and press F1 on selected members, you get results directly from MSDN (even if you haven’t installed the SDK).


If you don’t get the right context-sensitive results on the first try, use the F1 Options drop-down at the top of the window to select the correct member:

When no exact match is found, Document Explorer opens the Index tab and navigates to the place in the index where the closest match exists. Click the member for which you want to display Help to open the Help topic.


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