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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You must be a global admin, Search admin, or Search editor to access the Microsoft Search admin center.
The Add button opens the Add acronym panel. The Acronym and Expansion fields are required. When done, click Publish or Save to Draft.
To edit an existing acronym, select any published or draft acronym and select Edit.
Click Edit to open the Edit panel. The History tab shows the edit history.
When adding or editing, the Acronym and Expansion fields are required; other fields are optional.
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.
Select the checkmark next to one or more acronyms to reveal options to Publish, Edit, or Delete the acronym(s).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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