It's happened to everyone at one time or another. You are happily working in a Microsoft Office 2003 program when – BOOM – something goes wrong and now you're stuck. So now what?

You have several options available to you to help you get 'unstuck'. These are all features built right into the programs by Microsoft. You simply need to know how to access them and how they work.

Accessing "Help"

Do you remember many years ago when software came with manuals to answer questions and assist you when you needed it? The modern day equivalent of these manuals is the Help feature. This huge database of information includes step-by-step instructions, videos and tutorials on thousands upon thousands of queries.

Help comes with a search box where you can simply add your query. For example, if you need help printing, you would type 'printing', and Office will supply you with a list of possible solution links for you to go through.

There are several ways to access the help function.

Things You Will Need

A computer with Microsoft Office 2003 software loaded on it.

Step 1

Step 1

Microsoft Word 2003 Help Dialog BoxPress the "F1" key will open Help in any Microsoft Office application. Use any of the easy to follow search functions available here in the dialog box, such as connecting with Microsoft Online for assistance, searching the Table of Contents or simply type your query in the 'search' box.

Step 2

Step 2

Microsoft Office Assistant ClipItUse the Office Assistant to ask questions in plain English. Love it or hate it, that little dancing paper clip that seems to pop up at will is one way to get the answer to your questions. Microsoft actually gave it a name, "Clipit".

Clicking with your mouse in the shout out box and type your question and Clipit will bring up a list of possible solutions. If Clipit is not your cup of tea, you can also right click on him and choose, 'Hide Assistant' to make it vanish.

Step 3

Step 3

Use the "Help" menu, which is the last item on the Menu Bar to access all the various help options.

The Microsoft website features additional help for users, as well as templates that can be downloaded for free.

Tips & Warnings

One of the most common complaints about the Microsoft Office Help feature is that it is often difficult to understand. It's true that if you 'don't speak geek' you might have trouble understanding the search results.