So, you’ve decided to roll-out Office 2016 to your users, and you want to know what gotchas you have to be wary of. Or like one of our clients, you’ve deployed to a user or two in advance, to take advantage of new features the user may need, and found out something’s missing. That Research pane summoned by alt-clicking on a word in your document does not contain a dictionary as it did in previous versions.
Funny, you say, it was there when I was logged on. Then, you discover that, in their infinite wisdom, Microsoft’s developers have decided to remove the feature in 2016 for standard users. I’m sure there must have been a valid reason, but really? Like King Herod when the magi announced they were there to visit the new king, spewing out his morning coffee, he commanded them to find this threat to his throne. Your user similarly whisks you off on a search and rescue mission. So, like the three wise guys, Larry, Curly, and Moe packing their gifts of gold, Frankenstein, and Mercedes, you set off in search of the Holy Grail. If only there was a star to follow, documentation on this feature is scarce to be found. This is one of those been there, done that, bought the t-shirt moments. In this article, I hope to provide you that star to lead you to your goal – restoring the dictionary to the Research pane. What gift to bring? Precious jewels. A sapphire, a ruby, and a pearl to be precise.
In The Story of The Other Wise Man, Henry Van Dyke spins a tale about the fourth wise man, the one you never hear about, Artaban. He purchased the three jewels mentioned above and planned to join his three companions for the journey of a lifetime to present his gifts to the king. As he made the trek to join his friends, he encountered a very sick man, and tended to him, causing him to be late. His comrades had left without him. Artaban traded his sapphire for camels and supplies to attempt to catch his friends. Again, he was late and arrived in Bethlehem just as word had spread that Herod’s soldiers were coming, presumably to enforce some new tax. All the men had taken their livestock and fled into the countryside. He stopped at an open door of one dwelling and heard a mother singing a lullaby to her baby. He entered and spoke with her, to discover his friends had already come and gone. As he engaged with the baby, Artaban heard soldiers scurrying down the street, and then women shrieking as the soldiers began killing the children as directed by Herod. He stepped to the doorway, and as the captain approached, he offered his ruby in return for bypassing the house. The captain accepted his gift and moved on. Many years passed as he continued his search for the king, and in Jerusalem one day, Artaban witnessed soldiers dragging a sobbing woman down the street. She was to be sold as a slave to pay off her father’s debts. He gave the pearl, the last of his gifts, to her so she could buy her freedom. Artaban was distraught that he had lost the gifts he had so carefully selected for the king. It turned out that in helping others, his treasure had been accepted, his journey ended, Artaban had found the king.