Learn the Help Options in Office Applications

There are times everyone gets stuck in a Microsoft Office application and can’t remember how to do something. That is when they look to office buddies for help. If no one is around to ask, then that is where the Help feature in every Office application comes in handy. Just look up what needs to be done using Help as the guide since the information it finds will be specific to the application being used. Help is easy to use because it works pretty much the same in every Office application. Learn the many methods for calling up help to find the one that works best in order to work with that method regularly.

The most well-known way to get help is with the Office Assistant. This is an animated character which seems almost as good as talking to a live person about a question. When this character pops up during work, simply click on it to ask a question and then click on the “search” button to find an answer. It is easy to drag the Assistant around the window to move it out of the way when working. Or right-click on the Assistant and choose Hide from the pop-up menu to remove it from the display. This will take it off the screen, but t can be brought back from the Help options or”?” icon. ( courtesy : office.com/setup )
Instead of the assistant, use the question mark “?” icon since it is the easiest to remember for getting help because a question needs to be asked and answered. Click on the “?” icon to enter search criteria in the open text field and then click the “search” button to begin looking for answers.

“Ask a question” is a little feature that many users miss. It is located in the upper right-hand corner next to the Close Window “X”. It looks and acts like a search bar in most internet search engines. Simply type in the search criteria and then hit the enter key on keyboard to start the search. Users who are already comfortable doing on-line searches may prefer this method for getting help.
Also, the menu, tab, or toolbar option with the word “Help” is available. This usually has a sub-menu for help for the beginner or people who like to easily find reference materials. This option will bring up a help window with what appears similar to a reference book. It should offer a table of contents and an index, in newer versions of Office if may give the optional answer wizard (which is the program behind the “?”, Assistant, and Ask). This option also will let the user see the version of the software application being used by selecting “About”, which is helpful when on the phone with customer support. ( courtesy : office.com/setup )
For those who prefer old-school computer methods, the F1 shortcut on the keyboard still works for getting help. This key works in almost all software because it is a standard from before icons were popular. It will bring up the Assistant or if that is off, then it will bring up the Help window as done with the Help menu.

Another feature is the “What’s this” that will tell you about something being worked on which could require more information or guidance before continuing. Right-clicking on an item or field usually brings up this option as a pop-up menu, otherwise it may be found from “Help.” Simply click on the “What’s this” and it will give a short explanation. To remove the explanation and continue, click outside the explanation or hit the ESC key on keyboard. Old -school method for “what’s this” is to use keyboard shortcut of Shift+F1.
Whichever of the six options above are selected for regular use, remember when using help is to enter only 1 or 2 words as the search criteria. The more words entered the less likely the user is to find a match because it tries to match every word. It is better to enter a few words and get multiple options to choose from than it is to enter lots of words and get either the wrong answer or no potential answers.

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