BrainStorm QuickHelp is an online resource that provides many video tutorials on using Microsoft Office programs. To use BrainStorm, you subscribe to their services -- in addition to viewing the tutorials online in a web browser, subscribers can download a Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010 compatible add-in. This BrainStorm add-in provides a new QuickHelp tab on the Ribbon within Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010 applications (see Figure 1 later on this page) which enables you to access BrainStorm help videos off the cloud without leaving your application.
QuickHelp is from BrainStorm, an Utah, USA based entity. You can learn more about their products from their site.
My contact at BrainStorm for this review was Zach Bitner - thank you, Zach.
Once you have purchased the subscription plan as per your requirement and downloaded the EXE file for their Microsoft Office add-in, install the application. Thereafter, follow these steps for a small walkthrough that shows how you can use BrainStorm QuickHelp within PowerPoint 2010 -- these options work the same way in all Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010 applications:
- Launch PowerPoint 2010, and access the QuickHelp tab of the
Ribbon, as shown highlighted in red in
Figure 1: QuickHelp tab on the Ribbon
- The OuickHelp tab is divided into five groups, as shown in Figure 2. All the options within these groups are explained below:
Figure 2: Options within OuickHelp tab
- My Reports: Opens the reports page within the BrainStrom site. This page displays the number of assets viewed by your subscriber ID within the application.
- My Web Player: Takes you to the online Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010 video library.
- My Score: Brings up a web page on the BrainStrom site which displays your score based on number of videos you have watched.
- Help: This group provides three options:
Request a Topic will enable you to place a request for a video tutorial which is not available in the present library,
QuickHelp Support takes you to the support page, and
Other Resources will take you to a page with links of other resources.
- Suggested Content: Click to bring up a drop-down gallery, displaying suggested topic videos.
- Highest Rated: Opens a drop-down gallery which displays the highest rated videos.
- Currently Playing: This displays the video which is currently playing.
- Most Watched: Here you can find a list of videos which are most watched.
- Search: Type in the keyword within the search box and press Enter. This will open the resultant videos based on the keyword
within the BrainStrom QuickHelp task pane (see Figure 3).
Figure 3: List of videos displayed within the BrainStrom QuickHelp task pane based on search criteria
- Video Titles: Click this button to open the BrainStrom QuickHelp task pane on the right side of the PowerPoint interface (see Figure 3 above). Within the task pane you can browse the entire list of the videos for the program you are using.
- Clicking on any of the videos will open a Silverlight based video player, as shown in Figure 4. Additionally, you can add the
active video to your Favorites, and share it.
Figure 4: Video player
QuickHelp is an annual subscription cost, based on the total number of users. Annual costs for your organization begin at about $25 for a single user, and go down to as low as $2 to 3 per user per annum. All of the Office, Windows and SharePoint training is included within the annual pricing. Consumer or single-user pricing is also available.
Support is through email, telephone, fax, and online FAQ.
BrainStorm has come up with a great way to provide instant help to you, or your office staff. Users can save so much time not having to look around for answers -- and video clips are an easier way to learn more about any program than reading textual content.