Office 2003 Basics: Help Features in Office 2003

Lesson 14: Help Features in Office 2003



By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • Use the Office Assistant
  • Use Microsoft Help
  • Access Office on the Web

Getting help in Office 2003

When working in an Office 2003 program, you may have questions. Fortunately, Office 2003 provides several ways to get the answers you need.

Depending on what type of question you have, each of these methods can be helpful.

To explore Office 2003's Help options:

  • Choose Help from the menu bar (F1).

Word 2003's Help menu

Office 2003's Help provides help for each of its programs. For example, if you are running Word 2003 Microsoft Word Help is the first option in the Help menu. If you are running Excel 2003, Microsoft Excel Help is the first option in the Help menu.

The Office Assistant

The Office Assistant, or "Clippit," looks like a cartoon paperclip. It answers questions about Office 2003 programs.

Office Assistant

To display the Office Assistant:

  • If the Office Assistant doesn't show up on your screen by default, choose HelpShow the Office Assistant (F1).


  • Click the Help button on the Standard toolbar. Help button

To Hide the Office Assistant:

  • Choose HelpHide the Office Assistant.


  • Right-click the Office Assistant and choose Hide.

Using the Office Assistant

When you click on the Office Assistant, a dialog box appears.

To use the Office Assistant:

  • Click the Office Assistant.
  • Type your question in the dialog box, and click Search.

A question typed into the Office Assistant's dialog box

  • Choose a helpful suggestion, or click See More...
  • When you click a helpful suggestion or search button, a Help window pops up on the right side of the screen, listing topics related to your question.
  • Click a subtopic you hope will give you the answer you want.
  • Click the close button in the upper-right corner to close the Help window.

Office Assistant responding to a question

If the Office Assistant is in your way, you can click and drag it to a new location on the screen.

More Help options: Office on the Web

This option provides you with the latest in Microsoft Help. News, tips, software updates, patches, and bug fixes are all available online at the Microsoft Office Assistance Center.

When you choose this option, Office 2003 starts your Internet browser and immediately loads the webpage. To use this option, you must have an Internet connection and account.

To use assistance:

  • Choose HelpMicrosoft Office Online.

Microsoft Office Assistance Center

Browse the pages until you find the information you need. Choose FileExit from the menu bar, or simply close your browser window to return to your work.


  • Open Word 2003.
  • Practice accessing each of the Help options described in this lesson.
  • Close Help and Word 2003.