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Using the Office Assistant

Office 2007
The Microsoft Office Assistant has been deprecated in the 2007 release of the Microsoft Office system.

The Office Assistant is usually displayed with its balloon, presenting messages and providing Help as your user works in your application. However, the Office Assistant can also be helpful to your user without its message balloon. You can get your user's attention with the Assistant alone by setting its Animation property. You can use other properties of the Assistant object to customize the way standard Office Help is presented to your user.

All of the properties listed on the Options tab in the Office Assistant dialog box correspond to a property of the Assistant you can set at run time. The properties listed in the following table are commonly used to modify the Office Assistant.

Animation Animates the Office Assistant. Some animations are continuous; others occur only once.
FileName Specifies the full file name for the Office Assistant, with the .acs file name extension. For example, the file name for the Rocky Office Assistant is Rocky.acs.
Name Returns the name of the Office Assistant. If you want to keep track of which Office Assistant the user selects, use this property.
Visible Specifies whether the Assistant is visible or hidden.

The following example selects Rocky as the Office Assistant, makes the Assistant active and visible, selects an animation, and sets several options.

With Assistant
    .On = True
    .FileName = "Rocky.acs"
    .Animation = msoAnimationBeginSpeaking
    .AssistWithHelp = True
    .GuessHelp = True
    .FeatureTips = False
    .Visible = True
End With

There are six different Office Assistant “characters” you can choose to install with Microsoft Office, but only one Assistant character can be active at any given time. You can let the user select the Assistant from the Office Assistant Gallery, or you can select an Assistant for the user programmatically. You cannot modify the installed Assistant character files, and you cannot create a character file to use in place of the files provided.