You know that Microsoft Word contains a dictionary, because you've no doubt used it to spellcheck your documents. But did you know you can access full definitions, a thesaurus, online research, and even company profiles - often without leaving Word?

This works both in Word 2007 and Word 2010. Just go to the Review tab and click the Research button:

Research button

Now look at the Research pane that appears. You can choose from a variety of services, from simple definitions to translations:

Reference Books

Looking for a different word for productivity? Select the thesaurus:

Thesaurus

Need more than just a definition, use Bing or one of the other built-in research services pull up more in-depth encyclopedia-style details:

Research with Bing

Or, if you want to find information on a company you're doing business with, you can quickly view its company profile right alongside the document you're working on. If any of the information appears cut off, simply grab the left edge of the pane and expand it until everything is readable.

Depending on how you work, you can leave it open all of the time to quickly look up information or click the x at the top right corner and, poof, it's gone - leaving you to focus on your document until the next time you need it.

Suzanne