Using a worksheet to display help text

Another easy way to add help to your application is to create a macro that activates a separate worksheet that holds the help information. Just attach the macro to a button control, toolbar button, or menu item, and voilà! . . . quick-and-dirty help.

Figure 24-2 shows a sample help worksheet. I designed the range that contains the help text to simulate a page from a yellow notebook pad — a fancy touch that you might or might not like.

Figure 24-2: Putting user help in a separate worksheet is an easy way to go.

To keep the user from scrolling around the HelpSheet worksheet, the macro sets the ScrollArea property of the worksheet. Because this property is not stored with the workbook, it's necessary to set it when the worksheet is activated. I also protected the worksheet to prevent the user from changing the text, and I "froze" the first row so that the Return button is always visible, regardless of how far down the sheet the user scrolls.

The main disadvantage of using this technique is that the help text isn't visible along with the main work area. One possible solution is to write a macro that opens a new window to display the sheet.

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