Using the Office Assistant: MS Excel

Dennis Faas's picture

The Office Assistant provides help when you need to know how to do something in Excel.

This help is available at the click of a button and in every dialog box. You can ask a question, or you can look through the table of contents or index for relevant topics. Sometimes the Office Assistant suggests ways to help before you even ask for it.

You can get help four ways:

  • Click the Office Assistant, if it's available.
  • Click the Help button on the toolbar or in the dialog box.
  • Choose an item from the Help menu.
  • Press the F1 key.

When you're looking for an answer, you don't have to ask someone else or read through a book. Even inexperienced users use Help to learn more about a certain technique or feature of Excel.

The Office Assistant is easy to use. If you don't see it on your screen, you must turn it on.

  1. To turn on the Office Assistant, choose Help | Show the Office Assistant.
  2. To get help, click the Office Assistant. A yellow speech balloon suggests topics that might be relevant to what you're doing. Click one of these to get more information.
  3. You can also type a topic or a question in the box. A few words are all that is needed.

After you choose a topic or type a question, Help opens in a window next to your worksheet. Here you can browse through the topics and, as on the Web, click topics to display the information. If you want to print the topic, you can click the Print button. When you are finished reading the information, click the Close button to close Help and return to your worksheet.

You can turn off the Office Assistant if you find it gets in the way or asks too many annoying questions. To do so, choose Help | Hide the Office Assistant. In addition, you can customize the way the Office Assistant works and even choose a different assistant by clicking the Options button in the Office Assistant's yellow speech balloon.

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