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. Barnhill shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    declined  ·  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.

    29 comments

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      • Dee M. commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I'm sorry you have declined to bring back this very useful feature. I find it particularly helpful when searching for a particular word or phrase in a very long document. You can close the dialog box, which gets in the way, and just click the down arrow. I hope you'll reconsider.

      • Janet commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        We have just upgraded to 2016 from 2010 and I can't believe there is no object browser! I used it many times on a daily basis.

      • Marianne commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I would also urge Microsoft to bring it back ASAP. It is an incredibly usefull feature!!

      • di 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?

      • Lani 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 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. 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.

      • anonymous 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 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 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.

      • Brandy 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.

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