Accidentally open the Research Pane? Here is how to disable it in Office (Excel, Word)

The Research pane is a small utility build in some Office applications. It allows to search the meaning of a word, get synonyms, pronunciation…

The Research Pane is,  however, often opened by accident. When pressing the ALT key and clicking, the window opens on the right side. This can be very annoying to say the least. I had the same issue for a long time and I wanted to disable the Research pane completely, so it would not appear again by accident when hitting that ALT key during my work. Here is how!

Here are the steps to disable the Research pane in Excel and Word:

  1. Open Excel, and open a new empty file.
  2. Now press ALT+F11 keys to open the Visual Basic for Applications window.
  3. You now have a Visual Basic editor open. Press CTRL+G keys to open the Immediate Window.
  4. In that new window, paste the following: Application.CommandBars(“Research”).Enabled = False and press ENTER key
  5. Save your work (CTRL+S)
Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications - Immediate Window
Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications – Immediate Window

Note that after pressing ENTER, nothing will appear to happen. There will be no confirmation or information pop-up that will say ‘success’ or ‘operation completed’. Don’t worry at this stage, this means the command was executed correctly and successfully.

The very last step is to close the Office windows (Excel and/or Word).  Once re-opened, the annoying Research pane will no longer appear.


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