Everyone needs a little help now and then. If you have never
used Oracle’s help facility, venture with me and find new ways you can provide
benefit to your users of SQL*Plus through this simple interface.
The SQL*Plus facility has a very simple syntax.
In order to get the appropriate help information, you need
only issue the HELP or ‘?’ command on the command line within SQL*Plus,
followed by the command or subject matter you need help on. If you do not know
what you want or just want to see what is available, then for the subject
matter supply the global ‘TOPICS’ or ‘INDEX’ keyword and get a listing of
everything available for HELP.
SQL> HELP INDEX
Enter Help [topic] for help.
@ COPY PAUSE SHUTDOWN
@@ DEFINE PRINT SPOOL
/ DEL PROMPT SQLPLUS
ACCEPT DESCRIBE QUIT START
APPEND DISCONNECT RECOVER STARTUP
ARCHIVE LOG EDIT REMARK STORE
ATTRIBUTE EXECUTE REPFOOTER TIMING
BREAK EXIT REPHEADER TTITLE
BTITLE GET RESERVED WORDS (SQL) UNDEFINE
CHANGE HELP RESERVED WORDS (PL/SQL) VARIABLE
CLEAR HOST RUN WHENEVER OSERROR
COLUMN INPUT SAVE WHENEVER SQLERROR
COMPUTE LIST SET
CONNECT PASSWORD SHOW
Not only can you supply a single topic for the HELP command,
you may also supply an abbreviated topic. If the abbreviated topic also covers
multiple topic areas, all of the topics will be reported. For example, if I
supplied the topic ‘H’, under the base installation of HELP, I would get
results for both HELP and HOST.
SQL> ? H
Accesses this command line help system. Enter HELP INDEX for a list
In iSQL*Plus, click the Help button to display iSQL*Plus help.
Executes a host operating system command without leaving
Not available in iSQL*Plus
errors you may encounter are an indication of the HELP facility not being
installed or an invalid topic.
SP2-0171 HELP not accessible
Cause: On-line SQL*Plus help is not installed in this Oracle instance.
Action: Contact the Database Administrator to install the on-line help.
SP2-0172 No HELP available
Cause: There is no help information available for the specified command.
Action: Enter HELP INDEX for a list of topics.