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2.10. Online Help

Most windows have some degree of online documentation, in the form of a Help menu that you can pull down with the mouse or by typing Alt-H. In addition, you can press F1 at almost any time to display help. In some situations, pressing F1 will only display a tiny yellow message (known as a tooltip ) with a brief description of the item with the focus; at other times, F1 will launch an online index to help topics. Sometimes, F1 will have no effect whatsoever.

Furthermore, if you hold the pointer over many screen objects (such as items on the Taskbar or a window’s toolbar), a tooltip may appear. A tooltip may display nothing more than the name of the object to which you’re pointing, but in other cases, it may provide additional information. For example, placing the pointer on the system clock pops up the date. You can turn tooltips off in the Windows interface by going to Control Panel Folder Options View and turning off the option “Show pop-up description for folder and Desktop items.” Note that this won’t necessarily turn off tooltips in other applications—only Explorer.


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