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Microsoft 365 Insider Mac users get new search features for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint

The Microsoft 365 Insider program has some updates today for Mac PC owners. The Mac apps for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint have some improvements in their search features.

Microsoft's blog post describes the new features. The biggest one is the ability to turn on smart search suggestions. This will allow Mac users of these apps to get suggestions for their next words before they type them.

mac search suggestions in microsoft 365

Mac users can open any document in Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, and then click on the Search box in the top right corner. They can then select search suggestions to enable this feature.

In addition, the Mac apps can now be used to search for things other than text such as commands, help articles, or web results. If you want to search for a specific command, all you have to do is just type in in the corner Search box.

Web search results include things like definitions, media, and Bing results. If you want to search for these items in a document just click on the Open Search pane. You can also right-click anywhere on the document and then you can click on the Open Search pane in the shortcut menu.

If you want to use keyboard shortcuts to use the search features you can do that as well:

  • Open Search dropdown - Cmd + Ctrl + U
  • Find in document - Cmd + F
  • Open Search pane - Cmd + Ctrl + L

Finally, Microsoft has made the Smart Lookup pane more accessible to people who are blind or have low vision. That includes improved VoiceOver support and keyboard navigation.

There is one known issue, with Microsoft stating that the Search drop-down menu does not close when the ribbon tabs are clicked. This is available now for all Mac Microsoft Office 2021 owners, and people on the Microsoft 365 Insider beta channel running on version 16.74 (Build 23043001) or later.

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