Greetings, Office Insiders and Word users! I’m Derik Stenerson, a Product Manager on the Office Search team.
How often have you had to hunt through a Word document to find something, because it didn’t use the exact words you tried searching for? We regularly hear from our users questions like: “Why can’t this just work like it does when I search the web?”
Today, I’m excited to share an insider’s look at how we are addressing your feedback to make searching within your document easier and more natural—so searching Word for Windows documents more closely matches how you search the web.
Search Word documents like you search the web
Building on our work in Word for the web, we’ve improved the Search experience in Word for Windows so you’ll get much better results. Like in Word for the web, the new experience brings together well-established web search technologies, such as indexing and query and document understanding.
It also adds AI-powered, deep-learning-based natural language models, so Word can now handle a much broader set of search queries beyond “exact match.” For example, search will find related matches that include different forms of words, synonyms, and close matches (including typos).
How it works
- Open the Search pane by selecting Home > Find or pressing Ctrl+F.
- Type what you are looking for, using a multi-word query or a question, and then press Enter.
Scenarios to try
Here are a few scenarios you can test out when you search Word documents:
- Typos: When there is a misspelling in the query, search can now show related matches. For example: “technincian” vs. “technician.”
- Forms of words: When there are different forms of a word in the document and query, Word can find them all in one search. For example: “tech, technology, technologies”; “USA, U.S.A, United States, United States of America”; “newborn, new born, new-born”; or “analyze, analyse.”
- Synonyms: For example: “citation, quotation, quote, reference” might all be candidates for a term you’re searching for inside the document.
- Multi-word queries: A single-word query often generates an overload of search results; a modern semantic search can often yield better results. For example: with the query “oil price,” the search will now capture related matches containing “price of oil,” “prices of the oil,” ”cost of oil,” etc.
This feature is available to Office Insiders running Beta Channel and Current Channel (Preview) Version 2206 (Build 15427.20000) or later on Windows machines with at least 8gb of memory.
Don’t have it yet? It’s probably us, not you.
Features are released over some time to ensure things are working smoothly. We highlight features that you may not have because they’re slowly releasing to larger numbers of Insiders. Sometimes we remove elements to further improve them based on your feedback. Though this is rare, we also reserve the option to pull a feature entirely out of the product, even if you, as an Insider, have had the opportunity to try it.
We hope you love this new feature. Please let us know what you think by clicking the feedback link at the bottom of the Search pane.
Learn what other information you should include in your feedback to ensure it’s actionable and reaches the right people. We’re excited to hear from you!
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