First look at Insights for Office in Word Online—bringing the knowledge of the web to your document

Today’s post was written by Rukmani Gopalan, program manager on the Office team.

Earlier we announced Insights for Office in Word Online, a brand new feature that brings information you want into your document, in a seamlessly integrated experience that lets you explore as you are working. In this post, we give you a more detailed description of Insights for Office and how it can help enhance the understanding of the content that you are working with in Word Online.

In Word Online, when you right-click on a word and select Insights or use the Tell Me box, Insights for Office uses the power of Bing to neatly present relevant information—from a variety of sources like Bing SnapshotWikipediaBing Image Search and the web—right in your document.  We also listened to your feedback about how important dictionary definitions are to your reading or writing experience, so we bring definitions from one of the very best sources, the Oxford English Dictionary, as part of the Insights for Office experience.

You can use the Insights experience to do a quick look up or a detailed exploration—glance through the information to get a quick idea, explore interesting articles that are related to the information you are looking for in the Wikipedia section, learn the definition of a word, get interesting facts in the Quick Insights section, drill into the Images section to look at pictures from Bing Image Search or see what the web has to say in the Web results section—all from right within the document.

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In the document, right-click to select Lunar in the document to bring up Insights
on the Apollo Lunar Module.

Getting started

Insights for Office is available in Word Online in the Editing View. So first click the View tab to ensure you are in the Editing View.

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Insights for Office is available in the Editing View for Word Online.

To launch Insights, place your cursor on the word or words that you are looking for more information on and select Insights from the right-click menu or click the Insights button in the Review tab.

When you want to look up information on something that’s not in the document, you can use the Tell Me box to type the topic that you want Insights to search for and get the same experience.

 Insights for Office in Word Online 3

Different ways of accessing Insights for Office.

Insights for Office goes beyond search as you know it

When you look for insights on something in your document, Insights for Office tries to understand what you want based on what you have written. For example, in the following snippet that has references to the Olympic Mountains and the Olympic National Park, depending on which “Olympic” you select, Insights for Office gets it right.

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Insights on the Olympic Mountains.

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Insights on Olympic National Forest.

To learn more about this feature, lets explore “Bactrian camel” with Insights for Office.

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With a quick glance, you now know that this is a two humped camel found in Central Asia. You also get an idea of what it looks like from the picture. When you click More quick insights, you learn interesting tidbits like its scientific name for example. When you click More from Wikipedia, you can explore interesting articles not just about the Bactrian camel, but related species like the Wild Bactrian camel or the hybrid camel, which is an interesting hybrid between the Bactrian camel and the more common dromedary camel. You can drill into the Images section to look at more images from BIng Image Search or visit the Web results section to look at more articles from the web. When you visit the Define section, you also see the dictionary definition for the Bactrian camel.

Tell Me and Insights for Office

In the beginning of this year, we added the Tell Me feature in Office Online that helps you get more done by expressing your intents.  We found that a lot of our users’ intents are about finding more information, so naturally, we now have Insights for Office available through Tell Me—just type what you are looking for in the Tell Me box to get the right insights. For example, the screenshot below shows the Insights experience when you type “Who invented the telescope” in the Tell Me box and click Discover insights on who invented the telescope.

 Insights for Office in Word Online 8

We need your insights—let us know what you think

Your feedback is extremely important for us to ensure we provide the right experience for your intents. You can access Word Online by simply clicking this link and give Insights a try using the right-click menu, the ribbon or the Tell me box. Do you have an idea to make the Insights experience better or did something not work like you expected it to? Do you simply love the feature and want to let us know how awesome it is? Click the smiley face icon to let us know what you think.

Read more about the Insights for Office feature on the Bing blog.