Here is a Visual Studio macro that takes the highlighted text and starts a search of the msdn/msdn2 sites.  It often works better than the built-in help system.  I usually assign it to hot key Alt+F1.

 

'--------------------------------------------------------------------------

'You will need to add a reference to 'System.Web' for HttpUtility.UrlEncode

'--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Public Sub SearchLiveForSelectedText()

    Dim s As String = ActiveWindowSelection().Trim()

    If s.Length > 0 Then

        'If there is a space, then put quotes around the phrase.

        Dim i As Integer

        i = s.IndexOf(" ")

        If i <> -1 Then

            s = """" & s & """"

        End If

 

        'Adding 'header library' to the search string helps focus

        'the search on non-.NET stuff

        Dim ext As String = LCase(Path.GetExtension(ActiveDocument().Name))

        If ext = ".cpp" Or ext = ".inl" Or ext = ".hpp" Or ext = ".cxx" Then

            s = s + " header library "

        End If

 

        DTE.ItemOperations.Navigate("http://www.live.com/?searchonly=true&q=" & _

            Web.HttpUtility.UrlEncode(s) & " (site:msdn2.microsoft.com OR site:msdn.Microsoft.com)")

    End If

End Sub