Monday, May 16, 2011

Ribbon Search Commands for Microsoft Office 2010 and 2007

Microsoft Office has so many formatting and editing features, it is difficult to remember where everything is located.  In addition, many long-time users of Microsoft Office have found the Ribbon confusing.

The Microsoft Office Labs has a solution in the form of a simple add-in called Search Commands.  Search Commands has been available for a while now, but it seems to be a little-known add-in.  Search Commands will help you quickly find the commands you need in Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010 Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

To launch Search Commands, click on the Search Commands tab in Word, Excel and PowerPoint. If you prefer keyboard shortcuts, click the Windows Key + Y combination.

As illustrated in the images below from Office 2010 and Office 2007, the search mechanism is very intuitive.  Merely typing "insert" in the search box yielded the most commonly searched information:

Try it.  You'll like it. 

If you are new to the Ribbon, you may also find the information at helpful: Office Ribbon Find Commands.

Requirements and Download Information

  • Requirements: Windows XP or later. Office 2007 or Office 2010 32- or 64-bit.
  • Limitations: English only. Works with Word, Excel and PowerPoint only. 
  • Additional Information: Microsoft Office Labs
  • Download Link: Download Search Commands

Remember - "A day without laughter is a day wasted."
May the wind sing to you and the sun rise in your heart...


anykey said...

Sorry to say I have no search command tab, nor does WinKey+Y work. I am using Word2007.

I have tried to add the tab but have failed to find it anywhere. Addons - the tab next to it - is missing too.

Corrine said...

Hi, anykey.

I saw in one of the Blog posts (from 2008) about Search Commands that it has been reported (but not verified) that uninstalling and reinstalling has fixed problems with the add-on. (It should be listed for uninstall as "Search Commands from Microsoft Office Labs".)

Apparently, Search Commands does not work with a minimized Ribbon. In addition, sometimes add-ins become disabled and need to be enabled.

To re-enable Search Commands in any of the applications:
1. Click the Office button (round icon, top left)
2. Select Word (or Excel or PowerPoint) Options (at the bottom)
3. Click Add-ins (near the middle)
4. Manage: Select Disable Items
5. Click Go
6. Select Search Commands
7. Click Enable

FAQ's here: Search Commands - Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

anykey said...

Corrine, thanks for your clear instructions. Sorry to say it ain't there. I am not too bothered so don't do anymore digging for me. I was only gonna give it a go coz I hadn't heard about it before. Thanks all the same.

Corrine said...

You're welcome.

For the benefit of others who may have problems with Search Commands, there are two other options.

One option only available for Office 2007 is the classic interface, by Patrick Schmid, which has both a free and licensed version: RibbonCustomizer™ Starter Edition.

Another option available for Vista or Windows 7 (32/64 bit) or XP (32 bit), Office 2007 or Office 2010 (32/64 bit) is Ribbon Hero 2. Info and download link: Frequently Asked Questions - Ribbon Hero 2.

Anonymous said...


Is the search command working in x64 office 2010? I have just installed it and the only thing I get is “Queries unavailable”

I’ve searched the Internet but there is not much about the “search command”. I would appreciate an answer.

Thanks & regards.

Corrine said...

The only thing I found about a problem with search commands is what I posted earlier at this Comment.

Try uninstalling and reinstalling Search Commands. Also, keep in mind that Search Commands is an Office Labs experiment.