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Thursday, January 17, 2019

What are Office Intelligent Services and Should You Turn Them Off?

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Microsoft’s core Office 365 client apps—Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook—all contain a setting that lets you enable “Office Intelligent Services.” So, what are these, why are they turned on, and should you turn them off? Let’s find out.

If you have an Office 365 subscription then in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook there is a section in File > Options > General called “Office intelligent services.” (If you’ve just purchased Office as a stand-alone set of apps without an O365 subscription then this section won’t be available to you.)

"Enable Services" checkbox

The single checkbox, “Enable Services,” works across all of these apps, so it’s turned on or off for all apps; there’s no individual selection. Turning it on in any app will turn it on in every app, and likewise turning it off in any app will turn it off in every app.

What are Office Intelligent Services?

Put simply, Office Intelligent Services (OIS) are dynamic, cloud-based services that provide useful extra functions to make your work better. As an example, Microsoft offers a translation feature that will translate a section of text or a whole document. This is an OIS feature that is only available for O365 users who have the “Enable Services” checkbox switched on.

Other OIS features include a data visualization tool for Excel, a PowerPoint design helper, a “smart lookup” tool to help you find information about a subject, and the ability to dictate text rather than typing it. There are quite a few other services as well, and Microsoft regularly adds more.

Note: To use some of the other services, you need to keep another default value switched on, as well. In Word, Excel, PowerPoint or Outlook, open File > Options > Trust Center and click “Trust Center Settings.”

go to File, Options, Trust Center and then click Trust Center Settings button

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