Creating contextsensitive Help

In Chapter 3, we looked at VBA b uilt-in Help facilities. However, most users of Excel - or of any other Office application - will have had some experience with the Office Assistant. When clicked, this will deliver Help known as Balloon Help - so-called because of the way in which it is displayed (Figure 10.13). It is possible to customise the Help delivered by the balloon object, so that we can create context-sensitive Help, which could be of significant benefit to a user who needs support with some Excel application. This is one of several objects that Microsoft makes available to each of its Office applications. The Assistant displays inside the balloon a heading followed by a list of menu options and some buttons at the bottom.

The illustration shows the standard Excel/VBA Help, but y ou can customise this to application specific Help. For example, suppose it was necessary to include balloon Help to the user of the SALESMAN workbook. It could be invoked by using a macro button called Help. This button could be linked to a macro called Assist. We can see from Figure 10.14 that a balloon can contain a plethora of items - such as headings, buttons and text. They can also contain check boxes, radio buttons, and so on.

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Figure 10.13 The Office Assistant delivering balloon Help

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