Improve Office Help Files
With every generation of Microsoft Office the included Help system gets ridiculously worse, help used to be one of it's strong points. Old versions of Office included fast and comprehensive offline documentation that was incredibly useful and could be searched in seconds. Excel 2013's help was horrendous and Excel 2016 is a disaster. Currently I'm trying to write a VBA function, I enter some code hit F1 hoping for an example and then have to wait 15 seconds for Firefox to open and display a poorly formatted MSDN page, if I then use the MSDN search box to refine my results, what I get isn't t even about Excel, why would I want results for Python when I'm trying to write VBA code, it's ridiculous. If I'm on my laptop offline the situations even worse!
YES!!! I am SO disappointed with Excel 2016, and the lack of ANY useful help documentation is my biggest complaint. I use VBA frequently and I'm always having to access the help documentation to verify the syntax of a particular statement, etc. Now when I try to find syntax for a certain function, I get blasted out to a generic (and totally useless!!) online "help" screen, that doesn't even have any search function!!! Are you guys complete idiots?!?!? Why would ANYONE in their right mind think this is preferable to the old "offline" help information?!? I WISH I could go back to Excel 2010, but unfortunately my company "upgraded" and I am now stuck with this disaster. Thank God I still have Excel 2007 on my home PC, so at least I can use that for "real" help!!
Doug Jenkins commented
I totally agree, I have given this 3 votes. Returning to fast and relevant help would remove the biggest source of frustration with Excel 2106. This means having a comprehensive offline help which connects directly to the topic we are looking for help on. VBA help used to be excellent in this respect, and now it is useless.
With the current help I go straight to Google and do a web-wide search, and the best help rarely comes from the Microsoft site.
Please--please!!! Bring back offline help. As everyone else says, the search results are worse than useless, especially for VBA, and so slow! I use help nearly continuously.
Making things simpler ... and useful? Put back the offline help for Office application, especially for Excel. Thanks Microsoft for taking your customers comments into consideration.
Keith Sutherland commented
I agree 100% with Pete. With Excel 97, it was possible to search help for a function and learn how to use it. The "help" now is no help at all, and if it even is peripherally related to what you are looking for, it seems to contain details only, on the assumption that you already know most of what is needed. And, of course, the modern help takes far more time to function because the internet is far slower than my SSD disk.
I have found in the last year than I am far better off to search the internet for help on Excel than to try to use Excel help. And it isn't Microsoft sites that have the answers.
I've learned through application over the decades and find that in so many areas of interest that those answering questions think from the top and not generally down to the level of so many users. Nothing wrong with that as It's a byproduct of higher education. Just thinking about users.
So often I try to find out how to do something (example - cropping, icon use, etc.) and I don't get the "how" answered. It only tells me "what" can be done but it's very difficult to find out how.
It's terrible without offline help!!
Please make offline possible (it can be download selective for users) as soon as possible.
Jan Wx, NZ commented
I'm not allowed to vote anymore but I vote for this!
In Office 2013 and previous versions it was possible to choose between Online Help and Offline Help. In Office 2016 there is only Online Help, Offline Help is no longer available. Please bring back this option. Its absence is simply unacceptable for a commercial software.
Pete Wilson commented
Replace the Office 2016 online help system with one based on local files that actually works. Office has had a terrible help system since the online option was added, and in Office 2016 it doesn't work at all most of the time.