How to Use Wikipedia in Microsoft Word

With encyclopedias no longer occupying the shelves, Wikipedia is the online resource for anyone in need of answers. It’s a useful collaboration site for students, researchers, and general users who need information for projects, work-related tasks, or information.

In this article, we show you how to use the Wikipedia Add-in tool in Microsoft Word, including step-by-step instructions for making full use of the infobox resources, images, and documents that Wikipedia provides. .

What are the Wikipedia add-ins used for?

By now, most of us already know what Wikipedia is used for, however, it can also be an extremely useful tool for creating presentations, business handbooks, personal notes personnel or learning materials. For anyone who needs to extract information and images from Wikipedia, you can now do so using Microsoft 365 Word and its Wikipedia Add-in.

How to access and use Wikipedia in Word

For anyone with a Microsoft update license or a Microsoft 365 subscription — the Wikipedia add-in is a tool you should have in Microsoft Word. If you’re not sure you’ve got the plugin, go to Insert on the Word ribbon, and you’ll see the Wikipedia icon in the Add-ins group.

If you don’t see it but want to add it, check out the article published here, which teaches you how to find, install, and open add-ons.

To get started using and documenting the information found on Wikipedia in your Word document, follow the steps listed below:

  1. Open a clean Microsoft Word document
  2. Click Insert tab on top ribbon
  3. In the middle of the tab you will find Wikipedia button
  4. Once you have clicked the button, a pop-up will appear on the right side of your screen

  5. In the search bar, enter the title of the topic you are researching.
  6. Below the search bar, four separate buttons will appear. Each button will take you to specific areas mentioned in the search. These are Sections, Images, Infoboxes and References.
  7. In your Word document, place the pointer where you want the information to be in the document.
  8. Back in the Wikipedia pop-up, select the information you want to add. Highlight relevant text or click on the image you want to insert.
  9. You will then see a “plus” sign at the top left of the highlighted text/image. Click here to see related information added to your Word document.
  10. Remember to always replace your cursor before adding information.

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Pros and cons of using Wikipedia

Advantage Defect
You will find a great deal of information on Wikipedia. There is a level of authentication that Wikipedia lacks, because anyone who is registered can add information.
Since it’s so easy to use, you can find what you’re looking for quickly. Anyone registered with Wikipedia can add information, and that can get disorganized.
Wikipedia allows users in different parts of the world to collaborate and share data. Editors are unpaid volunteers, which can lead to incomplete research.
Anyone registered with Wikipedia can edit published information. There will always be certain topics that are not as popular as others, and this means fewer people to edit and provide information.
Using software to control information means that any recorded incorrect information can be easily reverted. Not everything on Wikipedia can be verified, so academic research is limited to how much they can rely on Wikipedia.
Whenever information is updated on Wikipedia, the changes are reflected immediately. Spam and vandalism happen on Wikipedia. Measures can be taken to detect and prevent automated spambots.
Wikipedia makes it easy for non-technical people to publish information. Content can be edited by anyone. Potentially controversial information, fake news, or even an editor’s bias can become part of the information.
Wikipedia gives you all the sources and references for every page you visit. The sources themselves may not always be reliable.

Creative use of Wikipedia in Word documents

There is no need to wait until a company is on the Forbes list of companies to start a Wikipedia page. A well-crafted corporate article offers free advertising and can make any organization more visible on search engine pages.

There are other flexible ways to use Wikipedia in any business environment. From search engine visibility (Wikipedia is often at the top of Google’s results page) attracting new customers, to providing citations that enhance a company’s reputation, an encyclopedia can be a branding tool.

Fact-checked and updated Wikipedia information that can be used as a building block on any Word document. A company can even link to a Wikipedia page from a Word document and use it as a way to build trust with new customers.

As for education, provided you don’t rely solely on information found on Wikipedia, it can be a rich source of data and facts. Wikipedia often has tables, images, and even charts that you can use and add to your Word documents. Most, if not all, academic institutions will ask for references or sources, and the beauty of Wikipedia is that each page has a dedicated section that lists these sources for you. Just don’t forget to check the cited sources yourself.

Understanding the benefits of Wikipedia in Word

The Wikipedia add-in in Microsoft Word gives you another way to quickly add data to your document. The Images tab in the plugin acts like an image browser, helping you quickly scroll through the images in a Wikipedia article and add it to your document if needed. Maybe, build a travel itinerary in Word.

Core benefit: It turns Word into a research tool and saves you the hassle of browsing Wikipedia in your browser. Select a topic you want to know more about and use this add-in to gather basic information about a Word document. You can automatically cite snippets and supporting links to the source. It can become second nature when you work on Word a lot.


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Sarah Ridley

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