How can we improve Word for Windows (Desktop Application)? Vote for an existing idea or share a new one.

Bring back the Object Browser

Word 2013 eliminated the "browse arrows" and Select Browse Object button from the vertical scroll bar. Although partial replacements for this utility are available in the Navigation pane and Go To dialog, none of them are as convenient as the simple browse arrows.

A search for "browse object" in the Word forum at Microsoft Community (http://goo.gl/eC3IZy) shows that many users are puzzled by and/or unhappy about the loss of this utility.

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    Suzanne S. BarnhillSuzanne S. Barnhill shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    declined  ·  Word Product Team [MSFT]AdminWord Product Team [MSFT] (Admin, Office.com) responded  · 

    Thanks for your feedback. We do not have plans to add object browser to Word at this time. Here is an alternative may help you to browse objects quickly in Word.

    Home → Find → Go To

    Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention and continuing to work with us on improving our products for customers worldwide.

    25 comments

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      • di honesdi hones commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        the select object browse button allowed me to reset my functions. After I had done a search and replace, my page down would not work as it still would continue searching from my last task. What is a way around this?

      • LaniLani commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Absolutely ridiculous that this was removed. I used it constantly and ALL DAY LONG! Why take something away that is so useful? I don't want a bunch of dialog boxes cluttering up my screen when I'm trying to work. ARRRGGG! Please Microsoft, bring it back.

      • Francisco WalterFrancisco Walter commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I agree all who are disappointed that the Object Browser tool was removed!! That was a powerful tool I used everyday!! Unbelievable that Microsoft removed it. The only folks here at work who did not use the tool were those who used Word casually, but my skilled colleagues used the Object Browser often to work in large complex documents. PLEASE BRING IT BACK!!

      • L. SgabelloneL. Sgabellone commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Hi. I have been using and teaching MS-Word for over 25 years and the above response from Microsoft is not acceptable. The "Select Browse Object" and its related double-arrow icons were incredibly useful; I cannot see how it is thought to have experienced "low usage" as the majority of my users loved the feature, once they understood how to use it. I do agree that Its purpose was not obvious so perhaps Word users world-wide would be better served by bringing this feature back and providing clear and obvious instructions on its use. It is, IMO, a definite step backwards to remove it. Further to that, it did not take up any significant real estate and increased the software's efficiency. To remove such a simple yet powerful feature is definitely and shortsighted and narrow-minded move.

      • anonymousanonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I work in a legal office and need to find case references in documents. In earlier versions, after using find and replace, I would use the object browser to stop find and replace. Now in 2016, after using find and replace and trying to scroll down by page, a message pops up "We've reached the end of the document. Do you want to continue searching from the beginning?" NO! I want to stop searching!. Bring back the object browser. It was one of the best features. I don't know why anyone would not use it.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Same here! I used it to reset the 'CTRL+page up/down' after a search for a word. I've just spent an hour, and still looking for a way to revert to page by page scrolling!

      • Steve KeelingSteve Keeling commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I just upgraded to Office 2016. I cannot believe that the object browser has been discontinued. It's something I used at least once every 5 minutes when editing Word documents. The reply above says that 'The object browser was removed due to low usage.' Who did they ask!? I used it all the time while editing large complex documents and it is really inconvenient not to have it.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        "Low usage"? Where did you get your information? This tool is incredibly helpful and it's removal is causing a great deal of inconvenience. Please bring it back.

      • Charlotte FishburnCharlotte Fishburn commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Perhaps low usage by casual users, but for large, complex documents and knowledgeable users, it's a valuable feature.

        It takes almost no screen room, what's the down side to having it available? Please reconsider even if it's just addressable as a configurable option.

      • BrandyBrandy commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        PLEASE DO AN UPDATE TO BRING THIS BACK!!! I am going back to 2010!!! This increases my workload by at least double time.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Low usage. Yeah right. I work with a group of Word power-users on mass document maintenance and this function is critical. It takes so little real estate and does not obscure at the ends of the scroll bars and is thus VERY, VERY useful. Please bring it back to an update to Word 2016...don't wait for a version upgrade...we need it NOW.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I LOVE those browser arrows. The other options are very inconvenient! Please bring it back. I use it all the time, and am frustrated by not having it.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        It was much easier to use those buttons in the object browser to change direction of a search. Please bring them back. And while you're at it, could you make the Find function locate the found item in the middle of the screen instead of the very top line or the bottom line on the screen? That would make working with found items much easier because one would not have to scroll to see the context of the found item. Thank you!

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I agree with these comments...I miss the Browse Object button and I'm amazed that Microsoft just made it a little more cumbersome to deal with large documents.

      • Daniel SmithDaniel Smith commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Microsoft's answer, that the browser had "low usage," is absurd. The most intensive users of Word--those who take advantage of its multitudinous features--will always be few compared to the casual users. So, then, should most of Word's specific features be eliminated because they're not used for letter writing? Look at all the items you could put in the QAT--what's the point?

        Yes, you can use find/replace window, but that box takes valuable real estate on my screens (I only have 2), as well as more taking time cursoring back and forth (and for my jobs, cursoring time can be a factor). I understand this is not an issue for most people, but if we let "most people's" desires limit what is available in this world, it will be a sorry place.

      • Gauri SharmaGauri Sharma commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I manage a team of Medical Writers and we produce very large and complex regulatory documents using MS Word. We are resisting an MW upgrade in our organisation because the loss of this tool will cost us a lot of time and money, and will reduce the quality of our documentation. We use every option offered in the object browser on a daily basis and are disappointed and baffled that this change was made or even considered beneficial.

      • Sherry GarelickSherry Garelick commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Bring back the browse object! Excellent tool lost. The new navigation panel takes up too much screen space and is awkward and clumsy!

      • Xuan Yuan TanXuan Yuan Tan commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Yes it's very strange that they removed this feature without properly explaining why. It's also missing from Word 2016.

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