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They've added a couple of new features. One of them leverages the .net platform that Microsoft is developing quite heavily, and that is the Task Pane. We mentioned the Task pane when we were looking at the user interface and how the screen was laid out. The Task Pane, right now, when I have nothing open, nothing on my screen, it sits here ready to help me with help features. Now you can currently see that it says Office Online. That's because the computer I'm on is connected to the Internet, and Microsoft Excel knows it. So it's connected me to the online help service or server from Microsoft, This offers a lot of advantages and disadvantages. An advantage is that the online help is always going to be current, If there's any errors or additions that the Microsoft technical writers would like to add, they can add them to the online help, and the next time you search in that subject, you're simply going to benefit from those additions. The downside is that it's a little bit slower when you search for things than would be if that help was installed on your computer, and if you're connected to the Internet via a dial-up connection, it can be really slow. Let me show you exactly how you can go ahead and use the online help. If I wanted to search for the word range, that's something we've already discussed. I'll hit Enter. You notice it's indicating to me, that it's going to Microsoft Office Online, so it is accessing this information over the Internet and getting me the most current information. Now if what's come up hasn't answered my questions, or if I simply want to get faster help as they are installed my computer, I can go down here to the Search options and once I've done a simple search, I can choose to go to the offline help, and when I do, I'll enter that range again. You can see how it came up almost immediately, cause it's a very simple matter to look through an organized text file that's on your computer. I may have the same information, but the online help may be more thorough, may take advantage of articles that have been written and added to your online help service, your online help service or it may take advantage of some changes that have been made by the technical support team. I have another place that I can access help and that is up here next to my menu bar.
If my Task Pane is closed, I can simply click here, enter the word range and again by default, because I'm connected to the Internet, it's going to Microsoft Office Online and it's searching for help on the word range. You may also have noticed, when I access the Search pane that the online help is divided into three very useful sections. I can ask for specific assistance, I can look for online training, there may be some specialized training articles that have been developed and are being delivered over the online help service, and I can also ask for Templates, rather updated templates or customized templates that may be available online. We're going to take a look at some of those later on. And last but not least, there is contextual help whether it's being offered to you here within the Task pane or while you are using a feature. For example, if I go to Format - Cells. This dialog box contains many tabs and many options and you can access contextual help by clicking up here on the ? beside the Close button. And now this Microsoft Excel Help is very specific to this dialog box. So you're getting contextual help for what you're currently looking at. And those are some the help features that are available to you inside of Microsoft Excel and outside of Microsoft Excel, if you're connected to the Internet.
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