Smart Lookup in Microsoft Excel

By Kelly L. Williams, CPA, Ph.D.

Q. What does the Smart Lookup feature in Excel do?

A. You can quickly look up text from your Excel spreadsheets from several online sources. For example, if there was a word or account name that you were not familiar with, you could simply have Excel link to several online sources to help you understand, using the feature Smart Lookup.

For example, the screenshot below displays the revenue section of an income statement. If you wanted more information on license royalties, you would simply click in cell A5, click Review on the Ribbon, then select Smart Lookup from the Insights group.


Excel then would link to several online sources offering information about license royalties, as seen in the screenshot below. Many additional sources that are not displayed below would appear as well.


Note that this content is based on Microsoft Excel 365 for PCs. Other versions of Excel may work differently.

Access the Excel workbook here and a video at the end of this article.

About the author

Kelly L. Williams, CPA, Ph.D., MBA, is an associate professor of accounting at the Jones College of Business at Middle Tennessee State University.

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