How to research information with the Word web app

 

If you have a Microsoft (for any Microsoft service, such as Outlook.com email), you have access to OneDrive online storage. At OneDrive you then have access to the browser based Office web apps like Word Online. Just click the arrow to the right of the OneDrive logo in the top left corner and select Word Online. You can create documents within a web browser and research topics and information in Wikipedia without leaving the Word app.

This is a great idea and it enables you to look up information within Wikipedia without leaving your browser. Of course, you could open another browser window, but unless you have a very big screen, it is isn’t possible to have two browser windows side by side so that you can easily see both. One tends to be half hidden by the other.

By using the built in Wikipedia research facility, you can open a panel at the side of the Word document you are working on and keep it there. You can browse the articles and read up on topics as you write.

Go to onedrive.com in your web browser or go to outlook.com, click the arrow to the right of the name and select OneDrive.

Create a document at OneDrive by clicking the arrow to the right of the OneDrive logo in the top left corner and select Word Online.

To see how the Wikipedia research facility works, enter a few words about anything you like. Let’s pretend you are writing a document. Now double click a word or click and drag over it to select it. A formatting palette appears above it as soon as you do this, but what we want is in a menu. Right click the selected text to see it.

 Use Word Online in a browser

Left click the Wikipedia menu and a search is performed at the Wikipedia online encyclopaedia. The result is shown in a pane which opens on the right side of the browser window.

 Research using Wikipedia in Word

Use the scroll bar on the right to browse the article and read about the selected subject in our document.

 Copy text into Word from Wikipedia

It is possible to select text in the Wikipedia panel by clicking and dragging the mouse over it. Right click it and select Copy or just press the keyboard shortcut, Ctrl+C. Click in your document and press Ctrl+V to paste it in, or right click and select Paste.

Copying large chunks of Wikipedia is actually not a good idea and people won’t think much of your writing skills if all you have done is copied and pasted. As you can see, it is possible though.

If you want to view the images in a Wikipedia article, click the images link just under the search box at the top.

 View images in Wikipedia in Word

As with text, you can also copy and paste images. Right click an image and select Copy, click in your document and press Ctrl+V to paste it in. With all images you should assume someone somewhere holds the copyright unless it says otherwise. (Pixabay is a good source of free images if you need something to illustrate a document.)

Wikipedia is very useful, but not infallible. When researching subjects it is a good place to start, but don’t stop there. Click the three dots in the menu under the search box and the Wikipedia article references are displayed. These are useful and you can read the sources of the information used.

Linux users

Microsoft’s web apps like Word, Excel and PowerPoint work in the browser and so they work in Linux. They enable you to create and edit Office documents in Linux by editing and storing them on OneDrive. The tip above works just as well in Linux as it does in Windows.


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