Did you know… How to use How Do I


(New Whidbey Feature).  You have a task in mind, but don’t know how to do it.  How Do I allows you to browse through topics to find the one related to your current task.

Let’s say I’m new to the Visual Basic .NET language and I need to learn how to declare an array.  I start off by clicking Help – How Do I.  (or if you are in the Document Explorer, just click the How Do I button on the toolbar – another new Whidbey feature).

Since I’m using the General Development Profile, the How Do I for General Development page comes up.  From here I click the How Do I in Visual Basic link.  On the next page, I find as the first link Learn the Visual Basic Language.  Obviously, I want to learn something about the Visual Basic language, so I click here.

I notice this page contains a collection of different programming tasks.  I do a search (Ctrl+F3) for “Array”.  And I find How to:  Create an Array of Objects topic.  Sweet.

Can’t find the topic you’re looking for?  Send us feedback!  You can either

  1. Send comments via the comments link at the bottom of the page
  2. Use the MSDN Product Feedback Center to suggest a topic

Happy Visual Studio’ing!

Comments (6)

  1. guna says:

    But how different is it from regular help ( the new feature you are talking about it seems to be a little more organized) or even searching for things in google (which gives the information i am looking for one in one type + click :))

  2. McGurk says:

    Lessee, one, two, three, four, five actions to find what you need. I’ve got a better one–groups.google.com, search for visual basic array. That’s two. I’m being a little bit facetious, I know, but I can’t help it. Maybe this "how do I" is geared more towards people who know the task they need to perform, but not how to go about it in a particular language? Like, not so much how do I declare an array, but maybe like "I need to store numbers. How do I do this?"

  3. Jeremy Jones says:

    Good points :)

    The How Do I feature is geared toward users that need help on a task but don’t necessarily know how to search for it. It is a collection of common tasks that can be browsed rather than searched.

    If you know what you’re looking for, Search or Index might indeed get you to help topics more quickly.

    Another note of interest: in VS 2005 the Search feature will search multiple providers of help content, including the MSDN forums.

    – Jeremy Jones

    Program Manager, VS Help & Community

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