Microsoft® Office – Tell Me Feature (IT Training Tip)

In Microsoft® Office 2016 (Windows/Mac*) there is a help feature that provides an easy and quick way to get assistance from within any of the Microsoft® Office 2016 Suite Applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint). With the Tell Me feature you don’t need to remember where a feature/setting is located on the Ribbon, ask Tell Me, and the feature/setting you are looking for will be suggested. Click on the suggestion, and the action will automatically be performed.

Let’s say you want to add a ruler to Microsoft® Word 2016, but can’t remember where that feature is located on the Ribbon. By using the Tell Me feature, all you need to do is type the word “ruler”and then click on the ruler suggestion provided by the Tell Me feature and Tell Me will automatically add a ruler. Maybe you have several paragraphs of text that you want to present in two columns. With Tell Me, all you have to do is highlight the text you want to be displayed in two columns and with Tell Me, type in “columns” and pick the column format you want to use. It’s that easy!

Using the Tell Me Feature –

  • Launch a Microsoft® Office 2016 Application (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
  • On the Ribbon look for the Lightbulb and the text “Tell me what you want to do”
  • Click on the “Tell me what you want to do” text and type in the feature/setting you are looking to perform, such as columns, ruler, spacing, font color, etc.
    • Tell Me will then provide you with suggestions
    • Click on the action you want to perform, and Tell Me will do the rest

 When clicking on the “Tell me what you want to do” text, Tell Me will also provide you with a list of your Recent actions as well as actions to Try

*If you are using Microsoft® Office 2016 for the Mac, you may need to perform an update to add the Tell Me feature. See the steps below for performing an update. 

Adding the Tell Me Feature for Microsoft Office 2016 for the Mac –

  • Launch a Microsoft® Office 2016 for the Mac Application (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
  • Click on the Help menu
  • From the drop-down menu, click on Check for Updates
  • The Microsoft® Office AutoUpdate window will appear
    • In the How would you like updates to be installed? section, place a dot next to Automatically Check or next to Automatically Download and Install
    • In the next section, place a checkmark in the checkbox next to Join the Office Insider program to get early access to new releases
    • From the Choose how you get Insider builds drop-down menu, select Office Insider Fast
    • Click on the Check for Updates button

  • Follow the prompts to update Microsoft Office 2016 for the Mac

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