MS Access Help mixup
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Scenario: Your compiled help file shows your Topics and Contents fine, but your Index and Search tabs have become confused with the MS Access Help system.

The following information is from Microsoft Knowledge Base Q271390


In a Microsoft Access form that is associated with a custom Compressed HTML Help file (.chm), you notice that even though the Help file may display the appropriate topic, it is displayed in an Access Help window with the default Access index, Access Answer Wizard, and Access title. You find this behavior occurs even if you specify within the custom Help file's .hhp file a custom title and index. However, if you double-click the Compressed HTML Help file (.chm) from within Windows Explorer, the custom Help file appears in its own window, as expected.

NOTE: This behavior does not occur with non-HTML help files (*.hlp).


You can write Visual Basic for Applications code to run the Compressed HTML Help file in its own window, as demonstrated in the following steps.

NOTE: This example displays the Help file in its own window only when you press F1. See the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base Q242433 MOD2000: How to Create Context Sensitive HTML Help Files and then follow the instructions in the article to create the sample Help file and database. In the same database in which you created the form, click Modules in the Database window, and then click New. Type or paste the following code in the new module:

Option Compare Database

Option Explicit

Declare Function HtmlHelp Lib "hhctrl.ocx" Alias "HtmlHelpA" _

        (ByVal hwndCaller As Long, ByVal pszFile As String, _

         ByVal uCommand As Long, ByVal dwData As Long) As Long









Public Sub Show_Help(HelpFileName As String, MycontextID As Long)

    'A specific topic identified by the variable context-ID is started in

    'response to this button click.

    Dim hwndHelp As Long

    'The return value is the window handle of the created Help window.

    Select Case MycontextID

        Case Is = 0

            hwndHelp = HtmlHelp(Application.hWndAccessApp,

HelpFileName, _

                       HH_DISPLAY_TOPIC, MycontextID)

        Case Else

            hwndHelp = HtmlHelp(Application.hWndAccessApp,

HelpFileName, _

                       HH_HELP_CONTEXT, MycontextID)

    End Select

End Sub

Public Function HelpEntry()

    'Identify the name of the Help file and a possible context-id.

    Dim FormHelpId As Long

    Dim FormHelpFile As String

    Dim curForm As Form

    'Set the curForm variable to the currently active form.

    Set curForm = Screen.ActiveForm

    'As a default, specify a generic Help file and context-id. Note


    'the location of your file may be different.

    FormHelpFile = "C:\MyProject.chm"

    FormHelpId = 1001

    'Check the Help file property of the form. If a Help file exists,

    'assign the name and context-id to the respective variables.

    If curForm.HelpFile <> "" Then

        FormHelpFile = curForm.HelpFile

    End If

    'If the Help context-id of the control is not null and greater


    'zero, assign the value to the variable.

    If Not IsNull(curForm.ActiveControl.Properties("HelpcontextId"))


        If curForm.ActiveControl.Properties("HelpcontextId") > 0 Then

            FormHelpId =


        End If

    End If

    'Call the function to start the Help file, passing it the name of


    'Help file and context-id.

    Show_Help FormHelpFile, FormHelpId

End Function

Save the module, and then close the Visual Basic Editor. In the Database window, click Macros, and then click New. Save the new macro with the name AutoKeys. On the View menu, click Macro Names. Type the following in the first line under Macro Name: {F1}.

Set the action for {F1} to RunCode. For the Function Name argument, type the following:


Save and then close the macro.

Open the Form1 form in Form view.

Click in the second field, and then press F1.

Note that the Help file is displayed in its own window.


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article.