Tell Me and Smart Lookup features in Office 2016

Excel 2016 logo

For the month of November, I have decided to dedicate my Tuesday Tech Tip to Microsoft Office Excel.  I am pretty excited about today’s Excel tip.  For the record, although I am speaking about Excel, these new features are also found in Word and PowerPoint.

If you have played around with or are already using the new Office 2016, you may already know about this.  But it is a new feature definitely worth mentioning.

It is the Tell Me feature.  In the top ribbon on Excel, Word, and PowerPoint, you will see a light bulb and the words ‘Tell me what you want to do…’.

Tell Me Feature

When you are in one of these programs, you can just click that light bulb and start typing your question.  Microsoft has become so smart that it will bring up any number of possible responses.  As you keep typing it will keep bringing up more possible responses.

If you are trying to figure out how to do something in the program you are working in, for example, how to increase an indent, when you see that option pop up and click on it, the program will perform the function for you.  I have to say that I enjoy that so much more than searching out a function in ‘help’, and then still having to perform the function from a set of instructions.  Especially when I am busy.

If you click on the last option, which is the ‘Smart Lookup’ option, a box will open to the right of your screen labelled ‘Insights’.  This option will bring up web search, Wikipedia, and Images, to also try to help your inquiry.  ‘Smart Lookup’ can also be chosen if you highlight any cell or text in your spreadsheet.  Right click on the text and scroll down to ‘Smart Lookup’ and the ‘Insights’ pane will open and Bing will do a search for you on the text or you highlighted.

Thank you Microsoft, for making our work so much easier!  If you have already used this new feature, please share your views and experience on it.

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