Microsoft continues its quest to make Office apps smarter, and Word just got a notable treat that should make writing a research paper far easier.

Tapping the power of Bing Knowledge Graph, Word 2016 now rocks neat Researcher and Editor features that could help a great deal with research papers.

Leveraging Microsoft's Bing Knowledge Graph, Researcher for Word enables users to search for content online and pull it straight into Word, using a side panel from the main window of the document. This way, users don't have to toggle browser windows to switch between searching and working on their document.

Moreover, Microsoft also touts a curated list that focuses on "credible sources" and trusted reference materials, complete with automatic referencing and citations that go into the footnote section of the document. More specifically, it will automatically add citations in your bibliography when you add source material. This alone should help users save valuable time when crafting a research paper.

"We'll continue expanding Researcher's body of reference materials to also include sources like national science and health centers, well-known encyclopedias, history databases and more," notes Microsoft.

Researcher for Word is available immediately for Office 365 subscribers using Word 2016 on desktops running Windows. Otherwise, the mobile versions of Office will get the feature at some point in the future.

The new Word Editor feature, meanwhile, is shaping up as a more powerful proofreading tool to complement the existing spellcheck and grammar tools in Word. Editor will process content using Microsoft's machine learning skills and suggest ways to improve writing. For instance, if you're caught up in writing and fail to notice that you've used some words or expressions excessively and repetitively, Editor will flag them up to let you know.

These writing style suggestions will appear with a dotted gold line, complementing the red underline for spelling and the blue underline for grammar edits.

While the new Word Researcher and Editor are not exactly groundbreaking, at least not yet, they could go a long way toward simplifying the process of writing a research paper. It will be interesting to see how Microsoft builds upon these tools to improve them further in the future, but it's looking promising so far.

Aside from Word, Microsoft Outlook and PowerPoint are also in for new treats. Outlook is now rocking a Focused Inbox feature and allows users to mention others in emails using the @ symbol, while PowerPoint is set to get a Zoom feature to make presentations more engaging.

To get a better idea of Microsoft's latest Office improvements, check out the video below.


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