Understand acronyms in Word documents

Word helps you interpret acronyms by providing you with their expansions. 

This is a subscriber-only feature This feature is available to Enterprise Office 365 Subscribers only.

Acronyms expansion is available for:

  • Word for desktop: EN-US only, with additional languages coming in the future.

  • Word for the web: Any of the languages currently supported by Editor. 

Expand acronyms

Acronyms are used everywhere, especially within companies. Users outside a specific department or company, and even newly hired people often don't know the meaning of internal acronyms.

Word expands acronyms to show you the definition.

Here's how:

  1. Go to References > Acronyms.

  2. In the Acronyms panel, find the acronyms from your text with their expansions.

  3. Select Found in a shared file, Found in your email, or Defined by your organization to see where the acronym was found.

Where do expansions come from?

Acronym expansions are extracted for each person separately from the emails and documents they have access to. IT admins can add a list of acronyms and their expansions. You can see where every expansion is extracted from by selecting Found in a shared file, Found in your email, or Defined by your organization.

Who can see acronyms and their expansions?

You can only see acronyms and their expansions when you have access to the documents and emails that acronyms are extracted from.

Why can't I see all acronyms from my document in the Acronyms Pane?

Only acronyms that have an expansion are displayed. You may not have access to a document or email where the acronym was expanded. It's also possible that we haven't found an expansion of the acronym yet because the acronym extraction process occurs every few days. 

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