Search for Microsoft Office Icons

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The desperately needed feature is coming to Microsoft Office … the ability to search for Icons.

Microsoft added Icons to Office 365 and even more a few months ago … 300 more icons in Office, but which ones and where?

The problem has always been finding the right icons from the long list. There are groupings but they are little use.

Now insiders with Office for Windows have a search option up in the top left corner.

We’d expect Icon search to spread to public Office for Windows and other incarnations of Office over coming months.

So far it works tolerably well, type in a word and matching terms will appear.

Not even a whole word is necessary. Start typing and searches begin with a partial world.

Search works because each icon has been given a set of keywords and that’s the problem with the new search feature.

Black Box Icon Search

The search is a black box solution because the keywords for each icon aren’t visible.  Most image searches include a display of the keywords used for each graphic.  That gives searchers clues for the type and style of words being used.

Not with Office Icons, not even a glimpse into the workings of a search.

Each icon needs a tooltip with an enlarged view (for accessibility) and the label/keywords used in searches.

Icon search anomalies

Any search results have anomalies and Icon searches are no different.

Results for ‘theater’ and ‘theatre’ are also erratic.  There are sure to be more curiosities.

Icons and Accessibility

Related to keywords is icon accessibility text.  When inserting an icon, an accessibility label is added.

That’s the only clue to the keywords used for an icon.


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