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Getting Rid of the Office Assistant

When you first installed Word, you probably noticed it included a help feature that involved cartoon characters. The default character, Mr. Clipit, is a paperclip that gyrates as it helps you with your questions. The official title of this character is the Office Assistant. Mr. Clipit was real cute for about thirty seconds, and then he got real annoying. (Don't let my biases sway you; many people like him.)

It doesn't take many people long to figure out how to hide the Office Assistant. When I first did this, I thought I had seen the last of him. (I knew that I could call him back up at any time by pressing F1.) However, he kept popping back up at the craziest times. Like when I would start writing a letter.

If you already know how to write a letter, and you don't want any help from your Office Assistant, you can muzzle him even more completely by following these steps:

  1. If the Office Assistant is not visible on your screen, asking you what you would like to know, press F1. If the Office Assistant still does not display, choose Show the Office Assistant from the Help menu.
  2. The Office Assistant should be displayed under a cartoon balloon that has two or three buttons at the bottom. If so, click on the Options button. If not, right-click on the Office Assistant and choose Options from the resulting Context menu. Either way, Word displays the Office Assistant dialog box.
  3. Make sure the Options tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Options tab of the Office Assistant dialog box.

  5. Make sure the Using Features More Effectively check box is not selected.
  6. Clear any other check boxes you desire; each one you clear means the Office Assistant is less responsive. (You may wish to leave the Respond to F1 Key check box selected, just so you can conjure the Office Assistant up if you need to.)
  7. Click on OK to close the dialog box.
  8. Hide the Office Assistant.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1910) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

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