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How to Use Excel 2007’s Research Task Pane

Excel 2007 includes the Research task pane that you can use to search for information from online resources, such as the Encarta Dictionary, Thesaurus, MSN Money Stock Quotes, and the Encarta Encyclopedia.

Note that because all of the resources are online, you must have Internet access available to use the Research task pane.


Click the Research command button on the Review tab.

The Research task pane appears on the right side of the worksheet.


Type the word or phrase you want to locate in the online resources in the Search For text box at the top of the Research task pane.

Avoid using common words like the, of, or a.


Select the type of online reference(s) to be searched on the Show Results From drop-down menu:

You can choose to search a specific source, or choose one of the three grouped options: All Reference Books, All Research Sites, and All Business and Financial Sites.


Click the Start Searching button (the green button with the arrow) to the right of the Search For text box to begin the search.

Excel connects you to the designated online resource(s) and displays the search results in the list box below.

When you include Web sites in your search, you can visit particular sites by clicking their links in the Research task pane. When you do, Windows launches your default Web browser and connects you to the linked page.

You can modify which online services are available for use in a search by clicking the Research Options link at the very bottom of the Research task pane. When you click this link, Excel opens a Research Options dialog box that lets you add or remove particular reference books and sites by selecting their check boxes.

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