Creating a slide deck, and you suddenly want to authenticate a figure or double-check a fact? Well, there's no need to open a web browser or even access a conventional dictionary. Research, a less explored option is available within most Microsoft Office applications, including PowerPoint. This option connects with various online and offline reference sources such as translations, dictionaries, and news services.
Available tools show within two broad categories, called sites:
- Reference: Reference sites include dictionaries, thesauri, and translation utilities.
- Research: Research sites include search engines and news services.
These reference sites can be used in a group, or individually. For example, you can look up a word in the dictionary, thesaurus, or translator all at once, or you can just use the thesaurus.
Access these options within the Research Task Pane in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows. To bring up the Research Task Pane, follow these steps:
- Launch PowerPoint, and access to the Review tab of the Ribbon. Locate the Proofing group and click the Research button, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 1.
Figure 1: Research button within the Review tab of the Ribbon
- This action opens the Research Task Pane on the right side of the PowerPoint 2013 interface (highlighted in red within Figure 2).
Figure 2: Research Task Pane
- To use the Research option you must type some word within the Search for text box (highlighted in red within Figure 3). You will now need to decide what resource (site) you want to refer to. By default, this pane already includes access to reference books and research sites. To see these sources, click the downward arrow (highlighted in blue within Figure 3).
Figure 3: Research Task Pane with no results
- This opens a drop-down list with all the reference books, research sites, and business/financial sites, as shown in Figure 4. You can add more sites for free or on a paid subscription basis. Also, some research options like the thesaurus work locally but for access to online resources like search engines and stock quotes, you need to be connected to the Internet.
Figure 4: List of reference, research, and business/financial sites
- Here are the descriptions of the research services within the drop-down list:
- Provides word definitions from the Microsoft Network's online dictionaries in English (North America).
- This service provides an integrated reference guide that provides assistance for linguistic explanations and usage in addition to suggestions for synonyms and collocations (the association between words that are typically or frequently used together).
- This provides alternate words in English. Learn more in our Thesaurus in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows tutorial.
- This provides alternate words in French.
- This provides alternate words in Spanish.
- Provides translations from one language to another. Learn more in our Translation in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows tutorial.
- Provides results from the Microsoft Network's search engine.
- This service is promoted by Dow Jones and Reuters that allows you to search over 9000 global news and content sources on a paid subscription basis. This service requires an internet connection.
- This is an extensive eLibrary service which provides Newspaper and magazine articles (you must be a paid subscriber). This service requires an internet connection.
All Reference Books
All Research Sites
Research Pane and Copyrights
Although it is perfectly acceptable to choose an alternative word from the thesaurus and even copy a few difficult spellings, it is certainly not advisable to copy content from the Research pane to create a presentation. Remember that the Research tools are intended for "research" only.
Research Tools in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Research Tools in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows