Office Online's best new feature

An easier way to navigate Microsoft's online office suite

Now that Microsoft has rebranded Office Web Apps as Office Online, I thought it time to take another look at the office suite to see what's new. The short answer is "not much," but there is one handy feature Microsoft has added that does make using at least Word and Excel easier.

It's called "Tell Me" and it looks like this:

Office Online Tell Me

The new search field tries to guess and understand what you're trying to accomplish in the program and offers some suggestions--shortcuts, really--to the features you might need. Just start typing. For example, in Excel:

Office Online Tell Me Excel

While this isn't a huge advancement (and it was introduced in Word at the end of last month to little fanfare), it is quite convenient. You don't have to hunt down the commands you need in Office Online's new simplified interface, and you can quickly find instructional tips to find out how to get things done quicker in Office Online.

Tell Me is available now in Excel Online and Word Online, but coming soon to PowerPoint and OneNote Web Apps.

Using Office on the desktop instead of these cloud-based versions? There's an add-on from Microsoft that adds search commands like these to your toolbars. 


Read more of Melanie Pinola's Tech IT Out blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Melanie on Twitter at @melaniepinola. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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