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Word Definitions in Internet Explorer

This article is a QuickTip

Office 2003 programs, like Microsoft Word, have a new 'Research' Task Pane that lets you look up words in an online dictionary simply by holding ATL and clicking upon them. It's a really handy feature of Word as although the results are retrieved from the Internet they are displayed within the Word Task Pane. In addition to word definitions, the Research Task Pane can also display synonyms from Microsoft's online thesaurus and even snippets of Encarta Encyleopeadia articles.

Recently I discovered that this Research Task Pane is also available in Internet Explorer as an 'Explorer Bar'. I assume that you have to have Microsoft Office 2003 installed in order to be able to access the Research bar in Internet Explorer. Once you've enabled the feature you can look up any word on any webpage by holding ALT and clicking on to it. This is really fast and efficient as the definitions and other results are displayed within the Explorer bar and you are not taken to another web page.

You will need to take the following steps to enable the Research Explorer Bar:

Internet Explorer Screenshot

You can enable the Research Explorer Bar if you have Office 2003 installed on your computer. Simply launch Internet Explorer and open the View menu. Then open the Explorer Bar submenu and select Research.

ALT + V, E, R


Internet Explorer Research Bar Screenshot

From this point on whenever you hold ALT and click on a word on any web page a definition for that word will appear in the Explorer Bar. The width of the Explorer Bar can be adjusted to stop pages from disappearing off the side of the screen.