Bill Baer /bɛːr/

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Bill Baer /bɛːr/
Bill Baer is a Senior Product Manager for Microsoft 365 at Microsoft in Redmond, Washington.

Acronym Answers in Microsoft Search

Acronym Answers in Microsoft Search

Acronym Answers in Microsoft Search

  Answers Acronyms Microsoft Search

What are Answers in Microsoft Search?

An Answer is a highly relevant and high confidence result that satisfies a user intent expressed as a query/question in search, presenting the most relevant information needed to get a job done and help users to faster task completion.

An Answer is a way to address user intent. When searching, the user typically types in characters and keywords to express an intent. Recognizing the keywords that are triggers for specific intents is important, but it is even more important that the content that is shown in search satisfies the user intent.  

Answers are useful when you want to promote a search result to appear above ranked results. For example, for the query “sick leave”, you could specify a particular result, such as a link to a site that has a statement of company policy regarding time off work.  You can think of Answers as being navigational aids to assist employees in getting directions to the information that matters most to help them keep productive and informed.

In Microsoft Search, an Answer can come from a variety of sources. The examples below are not meant to be exhaustive. An Answer can be anything that helps fulfil the user’s intent.  

  • Some types of answers can be manually curated by the tenant admin. Examples include editorial Bookmarks, Acronyms, QnA, Locations, and Floorplans. 
  • Answers can be entities that exist in Azure Active Directory: People, Groups, Apps 
  • Answers can be user-created content that exactly matches the user’s intent: News, Files, Sites.. 
  • Answers can be knowledge or entities mined from content or communications.

Acronym Answers

Did you know the world’s longest acronym, according to the Guinness Book of World Records is NIIOMTPLABOPARMBETZHELBETRABSBOMONIMONKONOTDTEKHSTROMONT?

Often, we come across unfamiliar acronyms at work. Sometimes, these terms could even mean specific to different teams, projects, or organizations. Finding the meaning of acronyms at work is now easier than ever using natural language queries across Microsoft 365 apps and services. For example, you can query ‘Define DNN’, ‘What is DNN’, ‘Meaning of DNN’ etc. to see all the definitions of DNN used within your organization. Definitions are both mined from the content you have access to and curated by your organizations, Microsoft 365 administrator.

Acronyms answers are currently available in SharePoint and (in English) in addition to (in English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, and Italian) and soon in Outlook web, Outlook mobile, Teams mobile, Office apps like Word, Excel and PowerPoint in English and additional languages.

Managing Acronyms

Acronyms answers can be both created and curated by search administratiors and editors in addition to those that are suggested from email and documents, as well as publicly available data within Microsoft 365.

Admin Created Acronyms

Admin created acronyms answers can be configured through the Search & intelligence admin center under the Answers tab, requiring 2 basic pieces of information, the acronym itself, e.g. TGIF, and its respective expansion (meaning), for example, Thank GUID it’s Friday ;-) in addition to a description and source to allow people to learn more about the acronym and its expansion.

Suggested Acronyms

For suggested acronyms, or otherwise, those discovered from email and documents, as well as publicly available data within Microsoft 365, the basic requirements will be completed when the acronym is mined (Acronym and Expansion) as well at the acronyms’ source.

Admin-created and suggested acronyms can be easily distinguised in search where admin created acronym answers will include the text Published by: wheres suggested acronyms will include the text From file: .


In some scenarios you may wish to exclude an acronym from appearing in search results. To exclude an acronym, within the Acronym dialog, select Exclude an acronym and then provide the acronym and optionally, its expansion.

Getting Started with Acronym Answers

For experimental purposes you can download a set of sample Acronym Answers here that represent a list of U.S. States by abbreviation including their expansion, description as provided by Wikipedia data, and Url linking to their official, respective website.

Learn more acronym answers in Microsoft Search at

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Thomas Habersatter

Thu, 09 Mar. 2023, 10:12 UTC

Hi there, is there a possibility to get all acronyms shown in search (users could then see a list of acronyms in our company) like i would search for all pdf docs I would use this KQL command: filetype:pdf

Bill Bär

Wed, 18 May. 2022, 03:02 UTC

Hi Jason, acronyms are suggested (mined) from content, for example, documents in SharePoint and email messages in Outlook.


Wed, 18 May. 2022, 03:00 UTC

What kind of content does search suggest acronyms from?

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