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Chapter 1. An Overview of Office 2000 > Online Help for Expert Users

Online Help for Expert Users

Office 2000 ships with the most sophisticated help system ever created for a mass-market software program. The help system has three interdependent components:

  • The Help content itself, including an extensive index. All the individual Help topics look and behave like Web pages (one-click "hot" links, the back button for navigation, and so on) because they are written in HTML.

  • A natural language-based search engine, called the Answer Wizard. Although natural language recognition technology is still in its infancy (and this engine reflects the limitations), in some circumstances the Answer Wizard will find relevant information that doesn't turn up in keyword searches.

  • The Office Assistant character. The direct descendant of Microsoft's ill-fated Bob software package, this "social interface" to Help information frequently evokes strong reactions: You either love that %$#@! paper clip, or you hate it.


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