Getting Context-Sensitive Help

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated January 6, 2024)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Word includes a complete help system that you can use to answer most questions on how the program operates. This system is context-sensitive, meaning the help you receive will vary, depending on the context in which the help was requested. Word provides a fast way to ask for context-sensitive help. The ways in which you access this help varies, depending on your version of Word.

In some versions of Word, you can press Shift+F1 to display a question mark over the mouse cursor. Use the cursor to point to the item for which you need help. When you click on the left mouse button, the help system is displayed, with specific information about whatever you clicked on.

In other versions of Word, the Shift+F1 approach simply brings up the help system to whatever is appropriate for the context in which the shortcut is used. In still other versions, Shift+F1 will not work, but you can click the question-mark icon that appears in the upper-right corner of the dialog box in order to see the question-mark-enhanced cursor.

Regardless of the method used in your version of Word, the bottom line is that context-sensitive help is available, and you can access it through one or more of these methods. You should check out what is available to you, so that you can get the help you need when you need it.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1178) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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