Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Making Dynamic Help Faster

Dynamic Help is a panel in Visual Studio that displays links to help relevant to whatever action you've recently taken. So if you click on the word Form in the derivation statement (so that it refers to the System.Windows.Forms.Form class) then several links to documentation about the Form class will show up.

It's a great way to learn about what's available while you're working; a sort of "learning in the background". Unfortunately the out of the box configuration can be a little slow. To speed things up:

  1. Reduce the number of links displayed. Go to Tools -> Options -> Environment -> Help -> Dynamic Help then check "Limit number of links per category" and enter a number smaller than 10 in the box on the right. I use 3.
  2. Reduce the number of categories.
  3. Reduce the number of Topic types.
  4. Try some of the other options.

For step 1, 3 has turned out to be the magic number for me. So I leave everything else turned on.

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