Whats Wrong with the Online Help

In a word, nothing. The online help accompanying VB and VBA is an indispensable resource and one that most developers depend on. What this book does is take up where the help section leaves off, to give you the full picture. Contained within these pages are the experiences of professional VB developers who have used the VBA language in both VB and as a hosted language in Office applications all day, every day, over many years, to create complex mission-critical applications. It's these experiences that you can benefit from. Whether you have come to VB recently or have been using VB for years, there are always new tricks to learn. And it's always important to find out about the gotchas that'll getcha!

For the most part, the documentation with VB and VBA isn't bad; it just doesn't have the depth of information you need when you need it. Most of us can get by day to day without even opening the help section. But when you need to open the help section, it's probably because you've either hit an unexpected problem or need to know what the consequences of coding a particular procedure in a particular way will be. However, the help sections tend only to show you how a function should be included in your code. This is understandable; after all, the help sections for any language by their very nature must be created before that language goes into general use, but it is only general, everyday use in real-life situ ations that highlights how the language can best be used and what its problems and pitfalls are. Therefore, online help confines itself to the main facts: what the syntax is and, in a general way, how you should implement the particular function or statement.

A quick note here about the help section in VB6: Microsoft has decided to move the help section into MSDN and to convert it from WinHelp to HTML Help. During the prerelease stages, the new UI has come in for a lot of criticism for being slow, memory hungry, and unintuitive (to say the least!). I hope therefore that you'll read up on the new VB6 language features and then keep this book close to hand.

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