Do things quickly with Tell Me

Applies to: Excel for the web, Visio Plan 2, Word for the web, Visio Professional 2019, PowerPoint for the web, OneNote for Windows 10, Visio Professional 2016, Excel 2019, Word 2019, Outlook 2019, PowerPoint 2019, Access 2019, Project Professional 2019, Excel 2016, Word 2016, Outlook 2016, PowerPoint 2016, Access 2016, Project Professional 2016, Excel for iPad, Word for iPad, OneNote for the web, PowerPoint for iPad, Excel for iPhone, Word for iPhone, PowerPoint for iPhone, Word for Android tablets, Excel for Android tablets, PowerPoint for Android tablets, Excel for Android phones, Excel Mobile, Outlook for iOS and Android, PowerPoint for Android phones, PowerPoint Mobile, Project Online Desktop Client Project Standard 2016, Project Standard 2019, Word for Android phones, Word Mobile.

You’ll see a text box on the ribbon in Office 2016 that says Tell me what you want to do. This is a text field for typing your words and phrases about next actions and rapidly reach your desired features or actions. You can also utilise Tell Me to acquire guidance about what you’re looking for, or apply Smart Lookup to research or define your specific term.

Note: At Microsoft, we’re continually testing out new things to help you achieve more with Office. To that end, some customers may see Search instead of Tell me what you want to do in the ribbon. The functionality is identical, we’re just trying out some new ideas to make it more discoverable for you.

Shows the "tell me" search box on the ribbon in Word.

Definitions

If you’re using Office 2016, you’ve opted into Intelligent Services, and you’re connected to the Internet you can write any word into the Tell Me search box and Bing will aim to retrieve its definition.

The Tell Me search with a word defined

People

If you’re using Office 2016 in your business, and are currently connected to the Internet, you can enter anyone’s name in your organisation into the Tell Me search box and we’ll attempt to yield their contact information in the directory. Hover over their name and you’ll observe their contact card and also being able to share the current file with them.

The Tell Me search box being used to find a coworker in the directory

Documents

If you’re using Office 2016 in your business, and are currently connected to the Internet, you can type the name of any file you have stored in OneDrive or SharePoint. Hover over the name of the file and you can insert the item into your current file, or open it separately in the appropriate application, such as Word or Excel.

The Tell Me search box showing a list of files that it has found

More information

This information was compiled using information courtesy of © Microsoft 2020. All rights reserved.

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