How to Use the Thesaurus in Microsoft Word

By Sue Aveyard

The thesaurus in Microsoft Word 2013 provides the user with specific and descriptive words to replace the mundane and overused. You don't need to get a book off the shelf or leave the screen you are looking for the perfect word.

Using the Thesaurus Research Window

Highlight or click inside the word you want to replace. On the Review tab, click on the thesaurus icon in the Proofing group. The Research window will open and show suggestions of synonyms arranged by their parts of speech. An antonym is sometimes listed at the bottom as well.

Selecting From the List

Hover over any word in the Thesaurus list, and a menu appears with "Insert" and "Copy." Choosing “Insert” replaces the word selected in your document, and “Copy” places the word on the clipboard so you can paste it into the document by right-clicking anywhere and selecting “Paste.” Clicking on a word in the list moves that word into the search box at the top of the window and then display synonyms for the new word.

Searching With Other Methods

Open the thesaurus by clicking on the "Thesaurus" icon without first selecting a word and type a word you want to research in the search box. To search again, either click on a listed synonym or type a different word in the “Search for” box and press "Enter." You can also right-click on a word in your document and select “Synonyms,” which displays a short list along with a link to the thesaurus.