Using Help in Microsoft Word
Before starting, check that you are viewing this in Microsoft Word. If you left clicked
on the link in your web browser to come here, you will be viewing this through
Internet Explorer. You can check this by clicking on the Help menu and seeing if it
lists either “About Microsoft Word” or “About Internet Explorer”. If it says, “About
Internet Explorer” you have opened this fine in the incorrect way, and so you can use
the Back button on the browser to go back and download the document in the correct
way. If it says “About Microsoft Word”, you‟ve done it correctly – carry on.
This exercise will be harder than in the past as MS Word has been updated and much
of the advice here may not work as described. However, the main objective of this
exercise is for you to get used to using the Help system I Word as opposed to
learning any particular techniques. In general, do your best to find out how to do
things and if you can‟t move onto the next thing. Don‟t be afraid to ask for help from
Accessing Office Assistant: If your helpful and endearing little paperclip, the
Office Assistant is not visible when you are working in Microsoft Word, turn it on
by selecting Show Office Assistant from the help menu. (If you can‟t see „Show
Office Assistant” on that menu, you may have to click on the graphic at the
bottom of the menu which will expand the Help menu)
Learning Something New every day: Now click on Paperclip and select Options,
then make sure that the check box Show the Tip of the Day at Startup is checked.
Then click on OK. This will give you a new tip each day you use Word. If you
pay attention to these it is a relatively painless way to improve your knowledge on
a gradual basis.
Asking the Answer Wizard: When you click on the Paperclip it makes a guess at
what you need help on, but you may type a query in the box and search for help on
that query. This is called the Answer Wizard. Type in this query: Set margins in a
document. There should be a list of phrases now in the yellow help speech bubble.
Select Set Page Margins and the full hyper-linked based help system will open in a
new window. (Note that you‟ll have to come back to this document to use any
techniques you find there). You can then select Change the page margins to find
information on how to change your margins. See if you can change the margins on
Using the Help Contents: (Note that the following has been superseded on newer
PCs in the Institute where Word 2003 access help directly over the Internet - some
alternative details will be embedded below). Sometimes it is difficult to ask for help
when you don‟t know the terminology. This is where the help “contents” comes in
useful. If you haven‟t closed down the Help window, go back to that window (If you
have, click on your paperclip, do any search at all, click on any link and it will open).
If there are 2 panes in the Help window, you should see “Contents, Answer Wizard)
and Index” at the top of the left pane. If not you should see a Show icon , at the
top left. Click on this to display the left pane. Then select the Contents tab. (On
newer PCs with Word 2003 – use the “Function 1” key – F1 to bring up “help” and
you will see “contents” mentioned near the top – click on that Now before I suggest
how you should do it, see if you can „drill down‟ using the „+‟ signs to find out about
drawing diagrams, looking particularly for information on using Autoshapes and
inserting images that you might have in a file. (On newer PCs using Word 2003, there
is no “+” sign, just click on each heading and it will show you more details inside the
heading). See what drawing you can do on this document in the drawing box and see
if you can insert an image from a file below the drawing box.
The above exercises are quite challenging, and as MS Word keeps changing, no ways
of doing these are recommended. The objective for this exercise is to get you used to
using the Help system to find out how to do things. In general if you think you know
the correct term for a function, try the “Search” function, but if you are not sure of the
terminology, use the “Contents” – (F1), drilling down into particular topics to see if
you can find something that sounds like what you are looking for.
Using the Help Index: The help index is a bit like the Wizard except that it is based
just on keywords. The trouble is that you generally have to know the terminology
used by MS Word to find the information you need. If you type in a keyword it will
simultaneously display a list below, so it is possible to scroll and see if any of the
adjacent keywords are more relevant. When using this way of getting help, you may
often have to try a few different words meaning much the same thing to find what you
want. Exercise: See if you can find any information on creating tables. That‟s an
easy one as the word „table‟ is used as a keyword. However, when you find the word
table in the list, no help is automatically displayed. You must click on „Search‟ or
press the return key to get it to look for help items containing this keyword. Chances
are it won‟t find exactly the one you want, but in the box below you will see a list of
help topics referring to the keyword „table‟ that you can scan. Look for „Create a
table‟ and click on it. Now see if you can insert a table just below this text and put a
few entries into the table.
End of lesson.- Save this document before you close it.