How can I tame the Office Assistant?
I can't stand the way he appears from nowhere, saying things like “It looks like you're writing
a letter. Do you want some help?”
Article contributed by Peter Boulding
To tame him
Right-click on him, select 'Options' and uncheck everything. Now he won't speak until spoken to.
Note: he is at his most annoying when both “Guess help
topics” and “Show tips about ... Using
features more effectively” are checked. It's this combination that causes him to say,
you're trying to breathe in and out. Would you like some help?”
Note also that you can't tame him when he has already leapt into action in this irritating manner.
Reject his offer of help and then follow the above instructions.
To hide him
Tame him, then right-click on him and select “Hide
Assistant”. He'll creep back into his bottle and
won't come out until summoned. (No magic spells required to summon him, just click on the question
mark button at the far right of the Standard Toolbar or press F1; or in Word 2000, select Help +
Microsoft Word Help, or Help + Show Assistant.)
To put the cork back in the bottle
Word 97: Find the Office folder called “Actors” and rename it to (for example)
he can't get out.
Word 2000: See below.
If using Office 97, think twice before corking the bottle. Sometimes he can find the required
information when you can't he's got a weird logic which can, on occasion, hit the mark when the
Help index has failed you.
If using Office 2000, think more than twice. The Office 2000 Asssistant is a huge
improvement on the Office 97 one; it uses an extremely intelligent search engine, and is easily the
best means of finding the Help topic you want.
And a warning: if you disable him in any Office program, you've disabled him in all. Your
Office Assistant settings apply to the whole Microsoft Office suite.
To place the bottle at the back of the bottom drawer of the old chest of drawers in the garage,
next to three dead spiders and an empty can of WD40
In Control Panel, double-click the 'Add/Remove Programs' icon. Click the 'Install/Uninstall'
tab, and select 'Microsoft Office 97' or . 'Microsoft Office 2000'.
Click 'Add/Remove...'. Insert the Office 97 CD and click 'OK'.
Click 'Add/Remove...' and clear the 'Office Assistant' check box.
Click 'Continue' and 'OK'.