When you start any Office program, one of the first features you notice is the Office Assistant , an online cartoon character that hangs around as you work. Figure 1.10 shows the default Office Assistant (named Clippit ), who appears when you start an Office product.
Figure 1.10. Clippit, a helpful assistant, remains faithful as you use Office.
Keep your eyes on the Office Assistant as you work because you will be amused at the contortions it goes through as it provides advice. If you have your speakers turned on, the Office Assistant makes noises to draw your attention.
Move the Office Assistant to a different screen location by dragging the character. If the Office Assistant is covering an area in which you are about to type, it automatically moves out of the way.
Suppose that you want help italicizing Word text. You can search through the online help system (via the Help menu), or you can click the Office Assistant, type a question, such as " How do I italicize text? ," and press Enter. The Office Assistant analyzes your question and displays a list of related topics (as shown in Figure 1.11). Click the topic that best fits your needs, and the Office Assistant locates that help topic and displays the Help dialog box.
Figure 1.11. The Office Assistant offers a lot of advice.
If you do something and the Office Assistant sees a better method, you see a yellow light bulb that you can click for shortcut information. If you begin to create a numbered list using menus , for example, the Office Assistant might display the light bulb to let you know that you can create a numbered list by clicking a button on the toolbar.
Customizing the Office Assistant
If you work on a slow computer, you might want to disable the Office Assistant to keep things moving a little faster. Also, many (most?) Office users like the Office Assistant when they first start using Office but then tire of the assistant always moving around the screen.
When you right-click the Office Assistant, a pop-up menu appears with these options:
By default, the Office Assistant does not appear until you activate him. If you don't see an Office Assistant when you start an Office program, select Help, Show Office Assistant, and the Office Assistant appears. In reality, you might grow tired of this fun guy rather quickly. The Office Assistant is cute at first and then becomes a nuisance in many people's opinions . (Those people turn him off right after he turns them off.) Do what you want; Office 2003 is designed to provide what you need and hide what you don't want to see or use.
Figure 1.13. Office products provide a two-pane help view.