What Does Clippy Mean?

Clippy is a nickname for an animated character that acts as an "Office assistant" in some forms of Microsoft Word. Clippy, or Clippit, was an animated part of Microsoft’s graphical user interface for its word processing program, and other elements of the Microsoft Office suite. It was added to Windows 97 and later discontinued in newer versions of the operation system.


Techopedia Explains Clippy

The idea behind Clippy was to offer users immediate help with different projects. The concept of using an animated helper is something that was a persistent part of Microsoft’s strategy, although marketers found that many users did not want this kind of addition to the interface.

In terms of its development, the office assistant software behind Clippy used a series of Bayesian algorithms to determine what a user might need help with. The office assistant worked off of typing cues, somewhat like other additions to MS Word and MS Office such as autoformat, which has also been a controversial part of MS Office design.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…