There has always been a help facility with the Microsoft packages but it has certainly changed over the years giving assistance on all aspects of the software.


Remember good old Clippy who used to pop up at the most inopportune moment, waving at you and trying to give you help?  You could even change him into a bouncing wall or wizard if the mood took you!!  It was like marmite with people equally loving and loathing his chirpy little exterior!!  But no one could deny that the advice he gave was good.

Help icon

This allowed you to search for help on anything you couldn’t do.  Initially the information was quite techy in the way it was written but this improved over the versions and ended up being quite useful.

Screen tips

Although most of us admit to not knowing what all the icons do there are little nuggets of information that can help us that show up when we hover over the icons.  Over the years these have changed from showing one or two words describing what they do, to also showing a keyboard shortcut for some of them, to now showing fully essays on the icon in some cases.  So, if you are in doubt as to what something does, hover over it!  Some even have a tell me more icon that takes you directly to a more detailed help topic.

Tell me what you want to do

This has been available since Office 2016.  It has the same options that have been available in the Help icon for a while now with 2 notable additions.  Firstly, you can access the equivalent icon to the one that is on the ribbon.  This means that instead of having to read instructions on how to do something and then having to do them, it’s one click.  The other option is Smart Lookup which gives a dictionary definition of the word as well as information stored in Wikipedia. 

Want to learn more about Microsoft Office?

Then email to discuss how I can help or have a look at the Microsoft Courses I run.