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Microsoft

Overview

Did you know that 2-3% of search queries entered by employees are related to acronyms? The new Acronyms feature in Microsoft Search helps users navigate their company’s often-confusing alphabet soup. If you’re an admin, this article will help you get started adding and publishing custom definitions for the acronyms your organization uses to refer to its people, products, groups, operations, or services.

 

Then, when users come across an acronym they may not recognize, a simple search on Bing will reveal common definitions from public sources—and your organization’s unique definitions.

 

Introduction: The Challenge of TLAs

Imagine you’re in a meeting and someone uses an acronym like TLA in an unfamiliar context. A search on Bing, such as ‘define TLA,’ is all it takes to get the definition:

 

Figure1.png

 

With the ability to create custom definitions for any acronyms your business may require, Microsoft Search makes sense of the query—even when there’s more than one definition.

 

Figure2.png

 

Microsoft Search is smart enough to pick out definitions for your search terms appearing on the company’s internal sites, in documents, Teams and SharePoint sites, Yammer channels, and so on. Microsoft Search ensures that the privacy and security of the mined data is maintained. You only see Acronyms mined from data that you have access to.

 

Figure3.png

 

This is particularly useful when acronyms you think you know could mean different things within your organization.

 

Those outside your company, on the other hand, have no access to these strictly internal search results—you won’t see the work search section at all unless you're signed in to a Microsoft Search-enabled account as an authenticated user.

 

Figure4.png

 

In some cases, such as the examples above, there may be more than one definition found on the internal network. In a case like this, click See more to show all results.

 

Figure5.png

 

And when there are no unique internal company definitions found by Microsoft Search, it’s smart enough to get out of the way and let Bing return relevant web results.

 

Figure6.png

 

Notice how the “Show results from Contoso” window is minimized in height in the example above. When a work-search result has a high certainty of being a good match, the result is shown. Otherwise, the window minimizes, allowing the best public web result to surface.

 

Adding acronyms

With your admin account, sign in to the Microsoft Search admin center and follow along as we take a quick look at what you’ll find in the new Acronyms section.

 

Figure7.png

 

You must be a global admin, Search admin, or Search editor to access the Microsoft Search admin center.

 

Figure8.pngThe Add button opens the Add acronym panel. The Acronym and Expansion fields are required. When done, click Publish or Save to Draft.

 

Figure9.png

 

To edit an existing acronym, select any published or draft acronym and select Edit.

 

Figure10.png

 

Click Edit to open the Edit panel. The History tab shows the edit history.

 

 

Figure11.png

 

 

Edit History

 

Figure12.png

 

When adding or editing, the Acronym and Expansion fields are required; other fields are optional.

 

 

 

Figure13.png

 

Optional: Enter the Source file or website that contains the definition (AKA expansion). Note that if you leave this field blank, it inserts the company name defined in your Organization profile.

 

 

Figure14.png

 

Select the checkmark next to one or more acronyms to reveal options to Publish, Edit, or Delete the acronym(s).

 

 

Figure15.png

 

Selecting a published item works similarly. Click to the left of the Acronym category name to select all items, which you can then Revert to Draft, Edit, or Delete.

 

Figure16.png

 

Figure17.png

 

Bulk import/export acronyms

Although you could individually create and publish every acronym using the single-item publishing procedure described above, it isn’t a very efficient way to publish a large number of acronyms. Instead, use the bulk import and export options.

 

Figure18.png

 

Tip: You can set up the import file to be automatically published. Just set the value of the (mandatory) ‘State’ field to “published.” Note that currently you can import 3,000 acronyms at one time. If you have more than 3,000, you will need to import them in batches.

 

Figure19.png

 

Bulk export

Export existing acronyms as a CSV file, review and bulk-edit them in Excel (etc.), and then re-import and publish the updates. Or save the CSVs you export to a local or shared drive to work with later. You might, for example, have the acronym definitions translated into different languages for your international offices.

 

1. Sign in to https://admin.microsoft.com and click Settings.

2. Select Settings > Microsoft Search

3. Select Acronyms and select Export

This will export any existing acronyms and their definitions to a dated CSV file in your Downloads folder.

 

Figure20.png

4. Bulk-edit the contents of the CSV file and Save.

5. Import the edited CSV file.

6. Publish draft acronyms

 

For more information, see our companion article entitled Bulk Operations for Microsoft Search.

Visit https://docs.microsoft.com/microsoftsearch/manage-acronyms to learn more.

 

Are you an admin? Please complete a short survey about the new Acronyms feature.

 

Figure21.png

 

 

 

17 Comments
Super Contributor
Just to clarify, these acronyms will not appear in the Sharepoint search bar at this time, correct? Do we know when that might come next? Rob.
Regular Contributor

I'm not seeing the Source in the results (for editorial acronyms, but I do for mined ones).  Is this a known issue?

Super Contributor
Lloyd Adams -- They only show up in BING connected to your enterprise tenant, is this where you are searching from?
Microsoft

@Rob O'Keefe We're bringing acronym answers to SharePoint this quarter.  Stay tuned.  :)

Super Contributor
@Bill Baer -- that's great to hear, thanks for the update! [i don't think @ -ing members works in this comment box.] Is the Acronyms sort of a predecessor to Cortex? Or to ask another way, if I load these Acronyms here, will Cortex pick them up?
Microsoft

Project Cortex is the knowledge network in Microsoft 365 that automates content capture, categorization, and management into "topics".  While Project Cortex leverages Microsoft Search and AI, it is separated from Microsoft Search as a service in Microsoft 365.  Acronym answers are a component of Microsoft Search.

Regular Contributor

@Rob O'KeefeResults are showing up in Bing (really like this, great new functionality), but, part of the result should be a hyperlink to the source of the definition, and this is not being displayed. For results that have been mined, it does show the file location.

 

This is the definition:

Untitled.png

 

And this is the search result:

Untitled3.png

 

 

Microsoft

@Lloyd Adams: Add the URL in the "Source" field (//aka.ms/microsoftsearch or https://aka.ms/microsoftsearch) and when you publish the acronym, the link will appear. I just checked this, it definitely works.

Regular Contributor

@GraemeBThe url is in the source field:

 

Untitled.png

 

Microsoft

@Lloyd Adams For some reason, your example is not appearing as mine does. Here's how I see the result:

clipboard_image_0.png

Notice the source is appearing with a name and a linked URL.

Regular Contributor

@GraemeB  The screen shot I've just posted is from the admin portal, setting up the entry.  If you just look at that, it looks ok.

 

But if you look at the screenshots I posted earlier, the second of these shows the output as seen by a user when they do the search.  Nowhere in the results does the hyperlink that was entered into the source field appear.

Microsoft

@Lloyd Adams Hm, I can't repro the issue. Please try it again. It is working reliably here. If the problem persists, let us know and we'll get a bug filed. Thanks for using the new Acronyms feature!

Super Contributor
@Lloyd Adams - mine matches what @GraemeB posted. When seen from Bing search. Maybe your user (you) are using a unique browser that is somehow changing? I don't recognize "Microsoft Search" that shows in your result, where is that?
Regular Contributor

@GraemeB 

 

I think there is a clue in the fact that the company name is being truncated. All three examples I have tried up to this point fail in the same way.

 

However, I have just a taken a fourth acronym, and that one has display the Source url.  There is however a difference in the output, which I will try to explain.

 

For the three that have failed, the search results are displayed in an open 'card' (for want of a better term).  The results are visible when the search returns:

 

Untitled.png

 

 With the search that does display the url, the results are not initially visible - I have to open the acronym card, as it initially displays a book mark as the primary result.  Note that on the card the full company name is displayed.

 

Untitled2.png

 

Definately looks like a bug to me, just need to work out the use case that triggers it.

Regular Contributor

@Rob O'KeefeStandard Edge browser (where do I find the version?).  Microsoft Search is being generated by, Microsoft Search??

Super Contributor
Interesting, I only see our company logo in that spot. I don't have an option to post a screen shot in this comment, but I have our logo in the place of where you see "Microsoft Search" so I never see that, thus my question.
Microsoft

@Rob O'Keefe  I can help with the question of where that large Microsoft Search text in Lloyd's example is coming from. That is the Company logo set in the "Custom themes" section of the Admin Center Settings (which only admins can access). @Lloyd Adams that does seem like a bug, probably related to the length of the name string. I'll file a bug report, thanks!
  
custom themes.png
https://admin.microsoft.com/Adminportal/Home#/SettingsMultiPivot