Example Apps for Businesses, Schools & Developers

Version 1.66           Approx 0.8 MB (zipped)                 First Published 23 Oct 2022                 Last Updated 30 Apr 2023

This is an updated version of my example app which provides a simple way of viewing help topics either within the Access application or using online help in a browser window. A list of Access online videos is also provided. Web links (URLs) are provided for all the online articles and videos

I am very grateful to Jeff Conrad (Microsoft Senior Content Experience Manager) for providing details of all online articles/videos including the URLs for each.

The original idea for this app came from a group of developers led by Tom van Stiphout who have been working on updating the Northwind template database.
The new Northwind template databases (Starter / Developers) were released at the end of April 2023.

Main Form

All functionality is available from the main form

The latest version of the app includes over 1000 help topics displayed in the form listbox.

The help topics listed depend on the help type selected: In-App Help (A2016 or later) / Online Article / Online Video

The in-app help feature is only available for Access 2016 or later. However, the online article and online video sections do still work.

Online help for Access 2010 is no longer available as the support period has ended. Similarly, support for Access 2013 ends in April 2023

If you are using one of these older versions of Access, this message appears when the form is loaded

Click YES to remove the in-app help item and hide the message in future

In Access 2016 or later, click any item in the list to view a list of in-app help topics considered most relevant.

Select the best match from the suggested list to view the help article in full.

NOTE: This is exactly the same article as you can find using online help.

Online articles and videos are listed by their title. In this case 'Set the field size'


The list can be filtered in several different ways:

a)   Selecting the first letter


b)   Typing a few letters in the 'find as you type' search box

      The search string can be anywhere in the help topic name. Type a few more letters to filter the list more


c)   Selecting the Access version from the dropdown list. Only items relevant to that version will be listed.

      For example, pivot charts and pivot tables appear in the list for Access 2010

      However, as those features were deprecated in Access 2013, they do NOT appear in the list for any later versions

      Similarly, newer features such as Modern Charts are only listed for the versions from which they were first included. In that case, from Access 2019 onwards.

d)   selecting the Access help type from the dropdown list. Only items relevant to that help type will be listed.

      Currently, the topic list includes:
      - 727 in-app help items
      - 787 online articles
      - 71 online videos

      There is obviously significant overlap with many topics being available both within Access itself and as online help

      Additional items can also be added to the list at any time.

      You may wish to do this if you notice a missing topic or if new online articles/videos are added

      Press Enter or click the +! button to add the item.

      A new form opens. Enter any additional details for the new item

      For online articles / videos, you will also need to enter the Help Article and URL fields


      The code uses a single function to obtain the in-app help topics considered relevant to the item selected

Public Function MSAHelp(ByVal strHelpTerm As String)

      Application.Assistance.SearchHelp (strHelpTerm)

End Function

      Many thanks to ex-MVPs, George Young and George Hepworth, for alerting me to the above code

      That code is used whenever an item is selected in the listbox:

Private Sub lstHelp_Click()

      HelpTopic = Me.lstHelp.Column(1)
      Call MSAHelp(HelpTopic)

End Sub

      For the online articles / videos, the following code is used to directly open the relevant URLs

Application.FollowHyperlink Me.lstHelp.Column(1)

      Apart from some complex but standard code to filter the list, that's basically all there is to it!

      Typing code like Application.Assistance.SearchHelp ("Field Size") into the VBE immediate window will open the online version of the same help page
      in your default browser

Download (for Access 2010 or later)

      Click to download:   View Access Help v1.66     0.8 MB     (zipped)

      The VBA project in the above file has been digitally signed with a code signing certificate.
      This means the file will automatically be trusted. You will not need to unblock the file to remove the 'mark of the web'

      Unzip and save the ACCDB file to a trusted location.

      NOTE: Copy all objects to use this directly in your own apps. An add-in version may be provided later if there is sufficient demand

Version History

      1.20     23/10/2022 - initial release
      1.64     28/03/2023 - various improvements to layout. Added form to assist with new help items
      1.65     23/04/2023 - added new article for VBA project signing
      1.66     30/04/2023 - added 22 new articles for the new Northwind templates files and the new Edge web browser control


      Please use the contact form to let me know whether you found this article / example app useful or if you have any questions.

      Do let me know if there are any errors or omissions.

      Please also consider making a donation towards the costs of maintaining this website. Thank you

Colin Riddington                     Mendip Data Systems                     Last Updated 30 Apr 2023

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