Microsoft enhances search experience for Mac users across Word, Excel, and PowerPoint

Kevin Okemwa

Microsoft 365 App logo

Have you ever been looking for something across Microsoft 365 apps but couldn’t find it, or the results weren’t popping up fast enough? Well, you’ll be happy to learn that Microsoft is enhancing this experience for Mac users across Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

The company has indicated that it has revamped the experience, and users will now be able to source for information across multiple platforms in one convenient location. According to Microsoft the new experience will:

  • Providing smart search suggestions before you even type.
  • Supporting searching for more than just text in your document – you can also search for commands, help articles, or web results (such as definitions, media, and Bing results).
  • Making the Smart Lookup pane more accessible to people who are blind or have low vision with better support for VoiceOver as well as improved keyboard navigation within groups.

To make use of the feature, you’ll need to open an existing document and click on the search box at the top-right corner, then select the search suggestions option. To conduct the search across multiple platforms, key in the word you want to find and press Enter. Alternatively, you can narrow down your search to the specific document by selecting the Find in this document option (Cmd + F). You can also expand your search to the web by selecting the Open Search pane option (Cmd + Ctrl + U).

However, this enhancement ships with one known issue. Some users may not be able to close the Search drop-down menu when clicking on the ribbon tabs. The feature is available to Beta Channel users who are running Version 16.74 (Build 23043001) or later. You’ll also be able to access it if you have a Microsoft Office 2021 license.

In related news, be sure to also check out all the new features that shipped to Excel in May.