Chapter 5. Microsoft Office

If you’ve been living on Mars for the past decade or so, you may never have heard of the software bundle called Microsoft Office. But more likely, you have an intimate relationship with at least one of the programs in the package: Microsoft Word (for creating text documents), Microsoft Excel (spreadsheets), and PowerPoint (presentations). Some versions of Office also include programs such as Access (for creating databases) or FrontPage (for creating Web pages).

This chapter offers a grab bag of hints for maximizing the many benefits of Office 2003. It also tells you how to secure a fully working—and fully free—software suite that handles most of the same tasks as Microsoft Office.

General Office Advice

The hints in this section apply to all the Microsoft Office programs.

Killing Clippy

Microsoft’s infamous "Clippy”—an overly eager animated paperclip (Figure 5-1) that pops up when it thinks you need help—may well be the single most reviled computer feature of all time. The character is supposed to provide useful tips as you work. Instead, it slows down your work, and even though it’s a paperclip, it makes an array of obnoxious facial expressions. You can bump off Clippy from within any Office program by choosing Help Hide the Office Assistant.

Turning Off the Office Clipboard

Even if you never use the Office Clipboard, which pastes text into Office files, it may still pop up occasionally, like if you press Ctrl+Insert twice in a row by accident. While some ...

Get Windows XP Power Hound now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.