Finding topics by using the Help Viewer index

The index contains a list of keywords that are associated with topics in the installed content. Each topic might have more than one keyword associated with it, and each keyword might be associated with more than one topic. Use this index in the same way as you would use an index in a book.

To find a topic by using the index

On the Index tab, perform either of the following tasks:

  • Specify the keyword to search for in the text box. For example, specify "update" to find topics with keywords such as "update," "updated," and "updating."

    By choosing the filter button near the top of the tab, you can display either all entries that contain the text that you specify or only those entries that start with the text that you specify.


    When the filter button appears on a darker background with a border, entries must contain the text that you specify. If the background and border don't appear, entries must start with the text that you specify.

  • Scroll through the index, and choose a keyword.

    If the keyword that you specify is associated with only one topic, it appears. Otherwise, a list of all topics that are associated with that keyword appears.

Index search tips

Using the index is a straight-forward process; however, understanding how to best enter keywords can make your index searches more productive.

General guidelines

  • Scroll through the index entries. Not all topics are indexed the same way, and the one that could most help you might be higher or lower in the list than you expected.

  • Omit articles such as "an" or "the" because the index ignores them.

  • Reverse the words you enter if you do not find the entries you expect.

    For example, if "debugging inline assembly code" did not display any relevant entries, try typing, "assembly code, debugging inline".

  • Use filters with the Index tab to decrease the number of results.

Syntax tips

If you do not find an entry for the word or phrase you entered, try the following:

  • Type the first few letters, or root, of the word. By entering a partial string, you can get to topics that have been indexed with keywords that are singular or plural.

    For example, enter "propert" to start your search above properties and property.

  • Enter gerund (-ing) forms of the verb for the task you want to complete. To find more specific index entries, append a word that describes exactly what you want.

    For example, type "running" to get more entries or "running programs" to get fewer.

  • Enter standalone adjectives. To narrow the results, append a word that describes exactly what you want.

    For example, enter "COM+" to get a wide range of entries or "COM+ components" to get fewer.

  • Enter a synonym of the word or verb you are looking for.

    For example, if you entered the term "building", try "creating" instead.

See also

How to: find topics in the TOC
How to: search for topics
Microsoft Help Viewer