Displaying Help

Category: General VBA / UserForms | [Item URL]

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This tip describes a useful technique that lets you display a series of help topics in an Excel workbook.

How it works

The technique described here uses a UserForm, and the UserForm has the following controls (see the Figure below):

  • A DropDown control (which displays the current help topic title)
  • A Label control that displays the help topic text
  • A Frame control. The label is inside of the frame to allow scrolling if all of the text isn't visible.
  • Three buttons: Previous, Next, and Exit

The help topics are contained on a worksheet, and the VBA code simply reads the text in the worksheet and transfers it to the UserForm. The user can select a help topic from the DropDown, or view the topics sequentially using the Previous and Next buttons.

You can easily adapt this technique to your own project:

  1. Export the UserForm and Import it to your project
  2. Set up the worksheet with the help topics and help text
  3. Create a simple macro to display the UserForm

Pros and Cons

This technique is very easy to set up, and requires no additional software or files. The VBA code is contained in the UserForm, so no additional programming is necessary. The primary disadvantage is that you cannot format the text that is displayed.

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