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Microsoft regularly rolls out new improvements and features for its Office apps, and now Word for Windows is testing an upgraded search function.

Microsoft revealed in a blog post this week, “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. […] For example, search will find related matches that include different forms of words, synonyms, and close matches (including typos).”

The new search feature is intended to work more like web search engines, with the ability to recognize typos in queries, different forms of the same word, and multiple words close to each other. For example, if your document includes “U.S.A,” searching for “USA,” “United States,” or “United States of America” will all return a match. Searching “dental additive” would also show results in the document for “additive for dental health.”

Microsoft rolled out the same upgraded search feature in the web version of Word all the way back in May 2020. The company said at the time that it was “coming soon to all platforms,” but it’s only now showing up in testing for Windows. Mac and mobile support are still missing.

Enhanced search is available to Office Insiders running the Beta Channel and Current Channel (Preview) Version 2206 (Build 15427.20000) or later on Windows. It’s found in the same Find menu as the regular search, or you can press Ctrl+F, but there’s now a toggle to enabled “Enhanced search (preview)”. Your PC also needs at least 8 GB of RAM to use the feature — otherwise, you’re stuck with the same search engine. A Microsoft 365 Personal or Family subscription is required to join the Insiders program.

Source: Office Blog

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Corbin Davenport is the News Editor at How-To Geek, an independent software developer, and a podcaster. He previously worked at Android Police, PC Gamer, and XDA Developers.
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