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Using the Office Assistant

Another way to get help in an Office Application is to use the Office Assistant. The Office Assistant supplies the same type of access to the Help system as the Ask a Question box. You ask the Office Assistant a question, and it supplies you with a list of possible answers that provide links to various Help topics. The next two sections discuss how to use the Office Assistant.

Turning the Office Assistant On and Off

By default, the Office Assistant is off. To show the Office Assistant in your application window, select the Help menu and then select Show the Office Assistant.

You can also quickly hide the Office Assistant if you no longer want it in your application window. Right-click the Office Assistant and select Hide. If you want to get rid of the Office Assistant completely so it isn't activated when you select the Help feature, right-click the Office Assistant and select Options. Clear the Use the Office Assistant check box, and then click OK. You can always get the Office Assistant back by selecting Help, Show Office Assistant.

Asking the Office Assistant a Question

When you click the Office Assistant, a balloon appears above it. Type a question into the text box. For example, you might type How do I print? for help printing your work. Click the Search button.

The Office Assistant provides some topics that reference Help topics in the Help system. Click the option that best describes what you're trying to do. The Help window appears, containing more detailed information. Use the Help window to get the exact information that you need.

Although not everyone likes the Office Assistant because having it enabled means that it is always sitting in your application window, it can be useful at times. For example, when you access particular features in an application, the Office Assistant can automatically provide you with context-sensitive help on that particular feature. If you are brand new to Microsoft Office, you might want to use the Office Assistant to help you learn the various features that the Office applications provide.

TIP

Select Your Own Office Assistant  Several different Office Assistants are available in Microsoft Office. To select your favorite, click the Office Assistant and select the Options button. On the Office Assistant dialog box that appears, select the Gallery tab. Click the Next button repeatedly to see the different Office Assistants that are available. When you locate the assistant you want to use, click OK.

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