How to Use the Thesaurus in Word 2016: A Step-by-Step Guide

Are you tired of using the same old words in your documents? Want to spice up your vocabulary? Using the thesaurus in Word 2016 is a breeze, and it can help you find just the right word to make your writing pop. Let’s dive in and learn how to use this handy tool.

Step by Step Tutorial: Using the Thesaurus in Word 2016

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s talk about what we’re aiming to achieve here. By following these steps, you’ll learn how to access and use the thesaurus in Word 2016 to find synonyms and antonyms for words in your document. This can help you avoid repetition and make your writing more dynamic.

Step 1: Highlight the word

First things first, find the word in your document that you want to find a synonym for and highlight it.

Once you’ve selected the word, Word will know which word you’re looking to find alternatives for. Make sure you’ve chosen the correct word to avoid confusion.

Step 2: Access the Thesaurus

Right-click on the highlighted word and select “Synonyms” from the dropdown menu, then click on “Thesaurus.”

A pane will open on the right-hand side of your document, showing a list of synonyms and sometimes antonyms for the selected word. If you don’t see the word you’re looking for, you can type it directly into the search bar at the top of the Thesaurus pane.

Step 3: Choose a Synonym

Browse the list of synonyms and click on the word that best fits your needs.

When you click on a synonym, it will replace the highlighted word in your document. If you’re not sure about a word, you can hover over it to see a definition.

After completing these steps, you’ll have successfully spiced up your document with new vocabulary. Remember, the thesaurus is just a tool to help expand your word choice – it’s always important to make sure the synonym you choose fits the context of your sentence.

Tips for Using the Thesaurus in Word 2016

  • Don’t rely solely on the thesaurus – make sure the synonyms fit the context of your writing.
  • Use the antonyms feature to find the opposite of a word and add contrast to your writing.
  • If the thesaurus isn’t showing the word you need, try looking up a simpler form of the word.
  • Keep in mind that some synonyms may have different connotations, so choose wisely.
  • Don’t forget to proofread your work after replacing words to ensure the new word fits seamlessly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use the thesaurus for words not in my document?

Yes! Simply type the word into the search bar at the top of the Thesaurus pane.

What if the thesaurus doesn’t have the word I’m looking for?

Try using a simpler form of the word or a related word. The thesaurus may not have every word, but it usually has something close.

Does the thesaurus show antonyms as well?

Yes, in many cases, it will show antonyms along with synonyms.

Can I access the thesaurus without right-clicking?

Yes, you can go to the “Review” tab and click on “Thesaurus” in the “Proofing” group.

Is the thesaurus available in all languages?

The thesaurus feature is available in multiple languages, but the extent of the synonym list may vary.


  1. Highlight the word you want to find a synonym for.
  2. Right-click the highlighted word, select “Synonyms,” and then click on “Thesaurus.”
  3. Choose a synonym from the list to replace the highlighted word.


The thesaurus in Word 2016 is a powerful tool that can take your writing to the next level. With just a few clicks, you can discover new words and phrases to enhance your documents. Whether you’re writing an essay, a report, or just a casual email, expanding your vocabulary can make your writing more effective and engaging. Remember, the key is to use the thesaurus thoughtfully and ensure that the words you choose fit the context of your writing. So go ahead, give it a try, and watch your writing transform. Who knows, you might just find the perfect word that you never even knew existed!