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Do things quickly with Tell Me

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Doug shows you how to use Tell Me

You'll notice a text box on the ribbon in Office 2016 and Office 365 apps that says Tell me what you want to do. This is a text field where you can enter words and phrases about what you want to do next and quickly get to features you want to use or actions you want to perform. You can also use Tell Me to find help about what you're looking for, or to use Smart Lookup to research or define the term you entered.

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 an Office 365 subscriber, you've opted into Intelligent Services, and you're connected to the Internet you can type any word into the Tell Me search box and Bing will try to get you a definition of that word.

The Tell Me search with a word defined

People

If you're using an Office 365 subscription in your business, and are currently connected to the Internet, you can type the name of anybody in your organization into the Tell Me search box and we'll try to find their contact information in the directory. Hover over their name and you'll see their contact card as well as 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 an Office 365 subscription 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

Tell me is a text field where you can enter words and phrases about what you want to do next, and quickly get to features you want to use or actions you want to perform.

When you're editing a file in Office Online you can access Tell me by tapping the light bulb to the right of the tabs as seen in the image below.

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

Feature available to Office Insiders only This feature is available to Office Insiders only right now.

Tell me is a text field where you can enter words and phrases about what you want to do next, and quickly get to features you want to use or actions you want to perform.

When you're editing a file in Office for Mac you can access Tell me by clicking the light bulb to the right of the tabs, and entering your query, as seen in the image below.

The Tell Me search box in Word for Mac 2016

Tell me is a tool where you can enter words and phrases about what you want to do next, and quickly get to features you want to use or actions you want to perform.

Use natural language to tell the Tell Me tool what you want to do.

On your iPhone you can access Tell me by tapping the light bulb to the right of the Home tab on the palette. On your iPad you'll find the light bulb near the top right corner of the screen, as you can see in the image below.

Tap the lightbulb near the top right corner to launch the Tell Me tool

Tell me is a tool where you can enter words and phrases about what you want to do next, and quickly get to features you want to use or actions you want to perform.

To access Tell me on your Android phone or tablet click the light bulb button as you see in the image.

Click the light bulb to activate the Tell me feature

On your phone it will be down on the palette towards the bottom left corner. On your tablet it will be on the ribbon at the top.

Tell me is a text field where you can enter words and phrases about what you want to do next, and quickly get to features you want to use or actions you want to perform. You can also use Tell Me to find help about what you're looking for, or to use Smart Lookup to research or define the term you entered.

On your PC or tablet, you can access Tell me by tapping the light bulb in the upper-right corner of the window as seen in the image below.

Word ribbon showing the "tell me" text field

We're Listening

This article was last updated by Ben on June 26th, 2018 as a result of your comments. If you found it helpful, and especially if you didn't, use the feedback controls below to let us know how we can make it better.

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