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Using the Help Window

You can also forgo either the Type a Question box or the Office Assistant and get your help directly from the Help window. To directly access the Help window, select Help and then the help command for the application you are using, such as Microsoft Word Help. You can also press the F1 key to make the Help window appear.

The Help window provides two panes. The pane on the left provides three tabs: Contents, Answer Wizard, and Index. The right pane of the Help window provides either help subject matter or links to different Help topics. It functions a great deal like a Web browser window. You click a link to a particular body of information and that information appears in the right pane.

The first thing that you should do is maximize the Help window by clicking its Maximize button. This makes it easier to locate and read the information that the Help system provides.

When you first open the Help window, a group of links in the right pane provides you with access to new features for the current application and other links, such as a link to Microsoft's Office Web site. Next, take a look at how you can take advantage of different ways to find information in the Help window: the Contents tab, the Answer Wizard tab, and the Index tab.

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View the Help Window Tabs  If you don't see the different tabs in the Help window, click the Show button on the Help window toolbar.

Using the Contents Tab

The Contents tab of the Help system is a series of books you can open. Each book has one or more Help topics in it, which appear as pages or chapters. To select a Help topic from the Contents tab, follow these steps:

  1. In the Help window, click the Contents tab on the left side of the Help window.

  2. Find the book that describes, in broad terms, the subject for which you need help.

  3. Double-click the book, and a list of Help topics appears below the book, as shown in Figure 3.3.

  4. Figure 3.3 Use the Contents tab to browse through the various Help topics.

  5. Click one of the pages (the pages contain a question mark) under a Help topic to display it in the right pane of the Help window.

  6. When you finish reading a topic, select another topic on the Contents tab or click the Help window's Close (X) button to exit Help.

Using the Answer Wizard

Another way to get help in the Help window is to use the Answer Wizard. The Answer Wizard works the same as the Ask a Question box or the Office Assistant; you ask the wizard questions and it supplies you with a list of topics that relate to your question. You click one of the choices provided to view help in the Help window.

To get help using the Answer Wizard, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Answer Wizard tab in the Help window.

  2. Type your question into the What Would You Like to Do? box. For example, you might type the question, How do I format text?

  3. After typing your question, click the Search button. A list of topics appears in the Select Topic to Display box. Select a particular topic, and its information appears in the right pane of the Help window, as shown in Figure 3.4.

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Print Help  If you want to print information provided in the Help window, click the Print icon on the Help toolbar.

Figure 3.4 Search for help in the Help window using the Answer Wizard tab.

Using the Index

The Index is an alphabetical listing of every Help topic available. It's like an index in a book.

Follow these steps to use the index:

  1. In the Help window, click the Index tab.

  2. Type the first few letters of the topic for which you are looking. The Or Choose Keywords box jumps quickly to a keyword that contains the characters you have typed.

  3. Double-click the appropriate keyword in the keywords box. Topics for that keyword appear in the Choose a Topic box.

  4. Click a topic to view help in the right pane of the Help window.

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Navigation Help Topics  You can move from topic to topic in the right pane of the Help window by clicking the various links that are provided there. Some topics are collapsed. Click the triangle next to the topic to expand the topic and view the help provided.

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