Office 97 Tips

Get Some Assistance

The most pervasive (some would say annoying) feature of Office 97 is the Office Assistant. Do you value the help the animated paper clip provides but can't stand the clip itself? Right-click the little bugger for options on what to do with it. The Choose Assistant option lets you pick another helper. (If all that jumping around drives you batty, try the Office logo, the calmest of the Assistants.) The Animate option makes the existing Assistant move around a little (for those short on entertainment). Under Options, you can select what kind of help the Assistant will give you (such as displaying only high-priority tips or showing programming hints).

But the two most useful options are See Tips, which can provide a variety of hints and shortcuts, and Hide Assistant, which puts the helper away. Bring the Assistant back when you need help by pressing the F1 key or clicking on the question mark in the word balloon on the toolbar.

If the Assistant rankles you so much that you don't mind throwing out the baby with the bathwater, you can make it go away for good:

  1. Right-click the animated Assistant, and choose Options.
  2. Select the Options tab, and uncheck the Respond to F1 key.
  3. Exit Office.
  4. Restart Office, and the Assistant will be gone.

When you need help in the future, press the F1 key to bring up a standard Windows Help index. But consider carefully before taking the drastic measure of eliminating the Assistant. The Help index makes you hunt for answers; the Assistant brings them to you.

Return to the Program Tips index


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