Searching using Microsoft vs. Google

Today I was working with Microsoft Project and I needed to renumber the tasks I had created. The ordering was all messed up. Surely, there had to be a way to do that, but I could not find it in the menus. Microsoft Project is a fairly clunky program that they initially bought, probably 15 or more years ago, and never made consistent with the rest of Office.

So I went to the help file and searched for the obvious: “renumber tasks.”


What I got back is the list above, a totally useless list of documents and help topics, none of which even remotely addressed my actual question. May I remind you, this was right inside Microsoft Project.

So I thought I’d try Google:


This  looked promising.  I typed “renumber tas” and it already knew what I wanted. I didn’t even have to tell it.

Then it gave me this list:


Note the first entry is actually an Ad – somebody else thinks Microsoft Project sucks and he built a business around it.

The very first non-advertisement entry seems to have my question answered. So I clicked:


Sure enough, here was my answer. It worked.

Within about 10 seconds of trying Google for an answer about a Microsoft product, I  was done and my list was sorted and renumbered.

Before spending 10 seconds on Google, though, I first looked for help in Microsoft Project, found it, typed my question, got a bewildering list of 20 possible candidates that I had to open and check  before I discarded them in frustration. I spent many fruitless minutes in Help before I gave up.

Google wins hands down.

One thought on “Searching using Microsoft vs. Google

  1. Mary Barnes

    The same is true of MS Word. I don’t even bother with Word Help. Occasionally, though, I’ll try it, just to reconfirm that it really is that bad. Then I shoot off an email to MS, listing the query and results, and usually ending with “What is WRONG with you people?” Help was great in Office 97, but it wonky in Office 2000 and never recovered.

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