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Microsoft: Access Other topics FAQ

Using Tek-Tips

How can I maximize my chances of getting an answer? by RickSpr
Posted: 15 Dec 02

(Note: This FAQ is based on FAQ219-2884, written/compiled by Mike Lacey and posted in the Perl and HP Open View forums. Slight changes have been made to customize it for this forum, but the credit goes to Mike and those he thanks.)

Here are some suggestions, and a rule or two, for using the Tek-Tips forums. These suggestions and guidelines are based on comments from various members and have developed over the last few years. There are very few hard and fast rules - please read the guide-lines and use your common sense.


  1. Be nice. Try not to get impatient if someone doesn't understand your question.

  2. Be nice. Try not to get impatient if someone doesn't give enough information for you to understand their question. This is a hard and fast rule. Bad tempered replies don't help anyone, and will just get deleted by site management anyway.

  3. Choose the right forum for your question. There are quite a few forums here at Tek-Tips. Take a few minutes looking through the list of forums and pick the one that looks closest to your question.

  4. Avoid posting the same question in multiple forums. Try to determine the best forum for your problem or question and post it there. Post in Access Other Topics only as a last resort, when your question isn't related to any of the more specific forums. If your question could go in two or more of the other forums, pick any one of them to post it in.

    The main problem with multiple-forum posting is that possible solutions can get scattered, making it harder for other members to find all the discussion related to the subject. Besides that, duplicate posts are subject to deletion by the management.

  5. Don't ask people to help you do illegal things or offer to do them yourself; respect copyright laws while you're at Tek-Tips. This includes asking us to help you break Access security when you've forgotten your password. We have no way of knowing whether you own the database you want to break into. This is a hard and fast rule.

  6. Avoid asking multiple questions in a single thread. You'll get better results if you keep your questions focused on a single well-defined issue.

  7. Use a descriptive Subject. Many of us will skip over reading the post if the subject doesn't indicate the question.

    Don't use Subjects like this...
        Does anybody know...
        Urgent help needed!
        Error message
        Basic question
        My )&*#$^)#&^$ PROGRAM won't ...

    Try Subjects like this instead...
        How do I enable multiselect on Listview?
        How to get ADO connection
        Avoiding recordset overrun

  8. Make an effort to look in help files and/or other documentation. Check http://msdn.microsoft.com and http://support.microsoft.com for the Knowledge Base. Remember, our time is valuable too. You're not as likely to get an answer if you ask us to look up something in the help file for you.

    Use the Search facility and try to find answers in existing message threads, and in the FAQs, before you post a question. Check the messages and FAQs from all the Access-related forums; somebody may have felt the question was related to a different forum.

    Even if you don't find an answer to your question and end up asking in a forum anyway, researching and thinking about your problem will help you ask a focused question that will get answered, rather than skipped over.

    FYI: To direct someone to a FAQ or thread, simply type (or copy and paste) the FAQ or thread number in your post, like this: FAQ183-874 or Thread183-108148

  9. Just so you don't get the wrong idea: no question is too basic for Tek-Tips forums. We simply suggest spending a few minutes trying to find the answer yourself, and then if you can't find it or don't understand it, post your question.

  10. Remember that Tek-Tips is designed for IT Professionals. It isn't intended as a lazy person's way to get homework assignments done, nor is it a free program writing resource. People are often willing to give snippets of code to clarify an answer or illustrate a point, but it's expecting too much to ask for a 'full code solution'.

    This is a hard and fast rule. Don't copy and paste your homework assignment in Tek-Tips unless you want your question and your Tek-Tips user-id deleted.

  11. Don't worry if English is not your first language; that's true of a lot of Tek-Tips members and no-one here will criticise your use of English. You will find that more people will be able to help if you use English; please stick to English when using Tek-Tips.

  12. Try not to fall into the temptation of answering or asking questions by email. If you do, then please post the solution on Tek-Tips when you're done so that everyone can benefit and we know the problem's been solved. Best thing is, if someone e-mails you, politely tell them to post it on Tek-Tips, thank them for the e-mail, but refuse to answer.

  13. Include the version of Access you are using; a solution that works in one version may not work in another. If you are connecting to a database, give details of which database and which connection method you use. If you are using external add-ins, controls or dll's please specify.

  14. If you are asking a question related to code, please post the shortest example of code that will reproduce the problem you're experiencing. Include relevant declarations and controls that are affected. If possible, use the actual names of tables, fields, queries, forms, and reports. It makes it much easier to communicate. You may know that "the subform" and "the customer data form" are the same thing, but we don't.

    Provide sample result (or desired result) of your code if you can.

    Please report the exact error message if you are asking a question about an error you are receiving. Telling us you are getting an error is unlikely to result in a useful response. "My app errored!!!" or "Please Help." will not get as quick or accurate a reply as "When I run my app under these conditions I get a syntax error on this line ... The error mesage is ..."

  15. Please acknowledge answers that help. Sometimes an answer is given but the questioner never replies in any way. It is hard to know if the problem was solved or if the questioner just hasn't seen the answer yet.

    If one of the answers solves your problem, post a short reply and let everyone know what worked for you. This lets the person who posted the answer and everyone else who reads the thread know which answer was correct for you. That way other people can benefit from the knowledge base we are building here.

    Tipmaster Stars are a way to provide positive feedback. We all (even those us who say we don't!) appreciate receiving stars. But only give stars when they are deserved. Stars not only reward the person who helped you, they draw other people's attention to the thread with the expectation of finding a solution. If you hand out stars before they're deserved, other readers will be disappointed.

    FYI: You "award Stars" by clicking on the link at the bottom left of the post.
    "Let <username> know
    this post was helpful!"


    Please post the solution if you solve a problem yourself. That way, all questions will have the solutions. And all of us can learn from others' experience.

  16. When you reply to long threads, note the person you are addressing. That way we'll know to whom the post is directed. For example,
    johnwm,
    I don't think the solution you posted will work in Version 5; that feature was introduced in V6.



Summary. Tek-Tips provides us with an opportunity to help and be helped. Please remember to show respect and appreciation to all other members of the forum, keep enjoying the forum and the programming. And, from time to time, give Tek-Tips some money http://www.tek-tips.com/supportus.cfm

This FAQ, like a lot of others on Tek-Tips, was based initially on Terry Broadbent's FAQ, Thanks though to the other members who have also contributed. I have unashamedly stolen borrowed from various sources for this document. All of the good bits are theirs, all of the bad bits are mine.

From original FAQ219-2994 by Mike Lacey

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