Favorite New Office 2016 Feature: Tell Me

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Tell Me” is Microsoft’s infamous Clippy finally done right, and somehow I hadn’t paid attention until very recently. It gives unobtrusive help when you need it, focused on task completion rather than teaching you how to use the software. It’s got a strong Getting Things Done ethos to it.

This feature – later renamed as Microsoft Search in Office – is summoned with the Alt+Q shortcut and combines:

  1. what’s effectively an auto-complete command line (think Launchy for Office 2016 functions)
  2. functionality help/discovery
  3. command history

In effect this delivers several benefits:

  • you don’t have to remember where features you don’t use often are located in the ribbon, nor what their individual keyboard shortcuts are.
  • You can perform more actions without using the mouse.
  • You can do more without looking stuff up in the Help.

See it in action in this video:

Other Apps With This Design Pattern

For even more on this pattern , read: The History of Command Palettes: How Typing Commands Became The Norm Again

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