The Best Uses for the Microsoft 365 Search Box

The Microsoft search field is extra highly effective than you suppose. You need to use it to shortly find context particular info, information, and ideas within the Microsoft 365 software that you’re already working in.

There are a number of search field options shared between Microsoft 365 apps. Different options are extra distinctive to particular person functions. Understanding the highest options can solely pace up your workflow, as we’ll focus on right this moment.

Because of the Web, the quantity of data at your fingertips is limitless. All you’ll want to do is use what you need. It’s this precept that makes the Microsoft search field so helpful.

The search field will get you to the knowledge, file, photograph, or individual that you really want sooner and with much less switching between apps and folders.

The search field is offered throughout Microsoft 365 apps. You discover the field above the ribbon, with the phrase Search inviting you in. Some customers could solely see a magnifying glass that expands into the field when clicked, relying in your settings. Relying in your model of Microsoft 365, the search field could also be known as Inform Me and have a gentle bulb as a substitute of the magnifying glass.

A screenshot shows the Microsoft Search Box

A screenshot shows the Microsoft Tell Me feature.

Click on within the search field and up to date searches and ideas will populate in a dropdown menu. Kind a single letter and the ideas will repopulate accordingly.


The easiest way to make use of the search field is to kind a single phrase or phrase. For instance, Pivot Desk in Excel or View in Phrase. This can populate extra related outcomes.

When you don’t see what you’re in search of, click on on Extra search outcomes. You might be prone to see what you need there.

A screenshot showing the Search Box in Microsoft Word.

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Shrugging off this functionality? With simply a few faucets, you may click on by to the related folder and open the file you need. Equally, a few faucets can open the knowledge you want from a browser based mostly search engine.

Perhaps that’s true.

However when was the final time you thought of how lengthy it takes you to get to a file or piece of data? What number of seconds or what number of clicks? How a lot time does in search of information or info take away from centered work in an already-distracting work surroundings?

It’s most likely extra time than you initially thought, particularly when you need to use a really accessible different: leaping into the search field, tapping in a phrase or two, and discovering what you want.

The search engine on Microsoft 365 is a part of a broader pattern in the direction of computer systems making higher use of what they find out about you. Search capabilities in Microsoft 365, and Google Workspace, are actually so sturdy that greater than a shallow stage of folders to retailer information can look old style.

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Microsoft Search Field Options

The search field has a number of core options that work constantly throughout Microsoft 365 apps.

  1. Location. You’ll find the search field on the prime of the applying, above the ribbon, although it might be minimized within the type of a magnifying glass, relying in your settings. The Home windows keyboard shortcut is Alt+Q.
  2. Phrases or phrases. You’ll be able to enter both a single phrase or a phrase into the search field and get a spread of context particular outcomes. For instance, when in Outlook, the field will floor emails earlier than Phrase paperwork.
  3. Reminiscence. The search field will be taught your behaviors and extra intelligently floor info for you. Your most up-to-date searches are saved, so you may entry them once more shortly.
  4. Ideas. If you’ll want to lookup methods to carry out a selected activity in an app, merely kind a phrase related to the duty into the field. You’ll discover a Assist doc or video to help you.
    A screenshot of the Help pane in Microsoft Excel.

  5. Net search. If you wish to do extra analysis on a subject, enter it within the search field and fundamental info will populate inside the app, together with Bing search outcomes that can open in a browser when clicked.
  6. Definitions. Must shortly seize a phrase’s definition? Merely kind it and you’re going to get a solution.
  7. Entry information. Kind within the identify of a file and your system will discover it. You’ll be able to insert the file wherever you’re presently working or choose info from it that you simply copy in.
  8. Sharing. Kind Sharing into the search field, and it is possible for you to to share a hyperlink to your present file with collaborators.
  9. Urged actions. These context particular shortcuts show you how to carry out really helpful actions sooner. They’re surfaced if you click on into the search field.
  10. Rapidly entry settings. Simply kind a letter into the search field, and you may shortly get to a setting or device you could in any other case spend a number of too many seconds trying to find. For instance, do you need to attain the paragraph settings in Phrase, however don’t keep in mind precisely the place they’re? Put in P and Paragraph Settings will pop up.

Microsoft Search Field Options by App

The search field has some distinctive options in every of the Microsoft 365 apps. Beneath are a number of examples to assist get you began.


  • BCC. Wish to shortly add a BCC to an e-mail? When you haven’t enabled this functionality to at all times be on, kind BCC into the search field. A line for BCC might be added to the e-mail.
  • Fast Steps. Have you ever arrange Fast Steps to higher handle your Inbox? Kind the letter Q into the search field and Fast Step choices will come up.
  • Insert a Ballot. Must shortly ballot a gaggle of colleagues? Open a brand new e-mail, kind Vote into the search field, use the voting button, and select your most popular model of ballot.

A screenshot shows how to insert a poll via Microsoft Search Box in Outlook.


  • Reuse Content material. The flexibility to reuse content material from a selected file actually stands out in Phrase. Whereas working in a single doc, you could need to insert a little bit of textual content from one other one. Use the search field to seek out the file and open it within the search pane. Click on on the three dots on the precise of the file, earlier than urgent Reuse Content material. Then, copy and paste the text you want into your present doc.
  • Views. You’ll be able to shortly change views. Kind “View” into the search field, and also you’ll see choices for Grid View, Complete Web page, View Gridlines, View Desk Gridlines, and View Define.

A screenshot shows how the Search Pane can insert text from other files into a Microsoft Word document.


  • Freeze Panes. Kind F into the search field > Freeze Panes. You’ll maintain the presently chosen rows and columns seen whereas the remainder of the sheet scrolls.
  • Converse. Kind Converse and also you get choices to Converse the cells by rows or columns.


  • Speaker Coach. Kind “Coach” and you will see an motion for leaping right into a session with Speaker Coach, which might enhance your presentation abilities.
  • Slide Grasp. Kind S into the search field > Slide Grasp and you’re prepared to begin enhancing the grasp slides, a notoriously troublesome function for irregular customers of PowerPoint to seek out.

Use the Microsoft Search Field to Work Quicker

Save your self a while and cease scouring the ribbon for the precise setting or looking by folders for particular information. As an alternative, keep within the Microsoft 365 software you’re working in and kind a few phrases into the Microsoft search field for context particular outcomes. You’ll discover what you’re in search of a lot sooner.

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