Press the F1 key on your keyboard, or click Help on the menu bar.
Just before you pick up the phone to call someone. The instant before you yell to the person at the next desk.
Any or all of the following reasons:
Most programs have what is referred to as "context sensitive help". This is a cool feature, whether you know it or not. If you are working in a word processing program, for instance, and press the F1 key, Help will try to examine what you were just doing. It will then try to offer you relevant help. If you just got an error message that you don't understand, press the F1 key. It may try to offer you an explanation for the error. You might also get a large pile of gibberish you don't understand, but Hey -- it was worth the try.
Another place to find help is the "questionny pointy thing" that sits in some tool bars. You know, the little button with an arrow and a question mark. Sometimes it's called "Help", and sometimes it will be referred to as "What's This?" In any case, if you click this button, your cursor should turn into a "questionny pointy thing" that you can then use to click on another button, icon, or tool bar. Once you click on this other thing with your "questionny pointy thing", you should be presented with some sort of help for the thing you clicked on. Try it -- it's fun!
Also, if you click Help in the menu bar of a program, you will get a pull-down list of helpful things. Sometimes there will be a Help Contents, a Help Index, and maybe even a tutorial. Investigate these things. More often than not, you can find help about your problem or what you are trying to do. If you get a help window with tabs for Contents, Index, and Find, try using each of these to head you in the right direction. The amount of information available in Help will astound you.
Sometimes, however, despite your best efforts to get Help, it won't work. You may not find what you are looking for, or it may get you even more confused than you were before. But, at least you tried. Then you can feel justified in making the phone call or yelling to the person at the next desk. Maybe their F1 key works better than yours.
Every precaution has been taken to insure that the procedures presented here will not cause damage to your computer system. However, Mind Over Machines Inc. will not be responsible for any damage caused directly or indirectly by any advice and/or procedures given anywhere on this web site. Likewise, we cannot be responsible for malfunctions caused by defective hardware, or unforeseen problems which arise from use of the standard Microsoft tools. If problems do arise, we may attempt to assist in the diagnosis and eventual remedy, but cannot be held liable or bound to do so.
Contents Copyright (c) 1999-2004, Mind Over Machines Inc.
Page last updated 08/28/04.