What Is Smart Lookup and 5 Reasons Your Small Business Should Be Using It
Jan 25, 2016
By: Sean Bulger Many reviews describe the 2016 upgrade of Microsoft’s Office Productivity Suite as an evolutionary progression from the last major upgrade in 2013. However, there is a lot to be excited about behind the scenes. On the surface, there are a few visual tweaks and a couple of new colorful themes, but Microsoft’s increasingly adept understanding of the power of the internet is starting to shine through.
Smart Lookup is the latest, and most highly anticipated, tool to come into the spotlight as Office 2016 gets into the hands of more consumers and small businesses. Starting with the newest version of Office, users can move beyond simply defining words within the program and start conducting full, web-based “research” as Microsoft is calling it. To hear the Bing team describe it: “Smart Lookup lets you fact-check and learn more about terms contained in emails and other documents without leaving your Office app. Select the text in question and Smart Lookup uses the surrounding content to deliver contextually relevant results, including Bing’s great image results, web searches and more.”
While this tool is fantastic for the casual user, it’s clear Microsoft had the small business sector in mind throughout the development process. Here are five reasons Smart Lookup is going to give you and your small business the edge it needs to get things done.
1. Speak the Same Language
From the top of the business down, the primary goal of any team is to work cohesively towards a common goal. Whether you are a local moving company or a small advertising firm, effective communication is critical. With Smart Lookup, jargon, lingo, and acronyms have never been easier to decipher. The same tools we have used in the past to define these unknown words and phrases, namely search engines, are now seamlessly baked directly into the software across all of Microsoft’s Office applications.
2. Research on Tap
The world of small business is a competitive landscape that’s as fast paced as it has ever been. Any moment spent outside of “the know” is a moment lost. Unfamiliar terms, trade events, and names can leave you in the dark when reading email, spreadsheet dashboards, and other documents. A potential customer comes across in an email, what next? With Smart Lookup you can check their online presence for information that may help you close the deal. Someone tells you about a service you’ve never heard of that could help your business where it needs it the most. For additional information, check out online reviews and other web search details without ever leaving the application.
3. Be in the Know, and Stay There
Building out some research on the latest trends nationwide? What about globally? Smart Lookup can help. Type the subject matter you’re interested in into the “Tell Me” search bar and select Smart Lookup. Not only will you get a collection of classic research links from sources like Wikipedia, with direct Bing integration, you’ll also get the top search engine results from sources all over the world.
4. Give Context, Receive Answers
Can’t remember that source of that quote you wanted to put in that opening paragraph? With Smart Lookup, a little context is all it needs to find the answer you’re looking for. The more information you give Bing’s backend to work with, the more intelligent the responses become. For example, “famous investor” might not get you the answer you’re looking for, but “Most successful investor of the 20th century” certainly will (Warren Buffett, in case you weren’t sure).
5. Visualize and Execute
We draw inspiration from everywhere, whether it’s art, cityscapes, or even nature. If you’re looking for some ideas on branding or future marketing campaigns, use Smart Lookup to pull up images directly from Bing. Need some imagery for an internal presentation or an upcoming report? Bing can even filter by license type, allowing you to find images that aren’t restricted by copyrights.
It will be interesting to see what else Microsoft includes in this new feature as the initial feedback starts to roll in. Regardless of the future however, it’s nice to see genuinely useful features like this continuing to stream out of Redmond. To learn more, and get the training you need on Microsoft applications, visit Learn iT!
About the Author
Sean Bugler is an Instructor at Learn iT! Specializing in desktop class application usage. When he is not teaching you can often find him reading up on the latest news in software and technology. Connect with him on Twitter @sbglr.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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