Microsoft wants to make your research easier. With the Word Researcher tool, you can close your web browser and get sources for academic essays, research papers, and similar documents with just a few clicks.
What can you do with a finder?
The Finder feature, powered by Bing, gives you a convenient search box to find people, events, places, and concepts. Your search results provide you with relevant topics and major sources including books, journals, websites, and images.
When you select the desired source, you can see preview, history, location, images and other important details. And the best part is that you never leave your Microsoft Word document.
In addition to viewing your topic details, you can create an outline for your article as well as adding and citing text. Click on the main topic or one of the information sections and add it directly to your document.
Here, we’ll show you how to reduce the time you spend researching and speed up your article creation with Microsoft Word’s Finder Tool.
To note: At the time of writing, Researcher is available with Word for Microsoft 365, Word for Microsoft 365 for Mac, and Word 2016. It is available to Microsoft 365 subscribers for Windows desktop customers.
Open Researcher in Microsoft Word
To use the Finder Tool, open the “References” tab of your Word document. Click “Finder” in the “Find” section of the ribbon.
When the pane opens to the right, enter a term in the search box and you’re on your way!
Review relevant topics and key sources
You will receive your research results with relevant topics at the top and major sources below.
Some topics may only give you a few relevant topics. Click “More Topics” under this section to view additional sources.
If you click on any of the relevant topics, you will see a nice preview of the topic. At the end of the “Overview” section, click “Read More” for more details.
Depending on your topic, you will then see several block sections filled with details. This structure is useful for starting your plan with them, which we’ll describe below.
If both the subject and the relevant topic contain images, you can click “View all images” for a neat grid of photos and illustrations. Click on it to open your browser and view the image online. Additionally, you can add them to your document, which we will also show you below.
For even more options, the “Top Sources” area offers books, journals and websites. Select one of these for its details.
If you first choose a relevant topic at the top, then you can filter your top sources by subtopic. Click on the “All topics” drop-down list and choose one.
Although most of the documents are contained in Word, you may come across a source here and there that you need to open in your browser. Click the link to open the source site in your default web browser.
Add subject elements to your document
In addition to displaying information about your topic, you can add headings, text, and images directly to your document using Researcher.
At the top right of each source’s section, you’ll see a plus sign. Click the “+” icon to add this section as a collapsible title for your document outline. Remember that this only adds the title, not the text, in the section.
If you want to add snippet to your document, you can do that as well. Select the source text by dragging your cursor over it. When you release, a small box appears with options for “Add and Quote” and “Add”.
When you choose “Add and Cite”, text will appear in your document with the source cited at the end of the excerpt. The citation is formatted automatically, so you can easily add it to a bibliography.
When you choose “Add”, the text will still appear in your document, but without the quote.
If your subject offers images and you click on “See all images”, you also have the option of adding one or more. It’s super convenient because you don’t have to hunt them down yourself.
Click the “+” icon in the corner of the image to add it to your paper.
It will appear in your document with the source cited below.
To note: Be sure to respect copyrights when using the available images for your purposes. If you’re not sure if you can use an image, click “Learn More” above the image grid. This brings you to Microsoft’s legal webpage that explains copyright and has FAQs. You can also check out our article on images with a Creative Commons license for these Creative Commons sources.
Academic essays and research papers are sufficient work on their own. By using Researcher in Microsoft Word, you can ease the burden of finding your document and get content boosted.