How to Use Wikipedia in Microsoft Word

With encyclopedias no longer taking up room on the bookshelf, Wikipedia is the go-to online resource for anyone needing answers. It’s a collaborative website that is useful for students, researchers, and general users alike needing facts for projects, work-related tasks, or information.

In this article, we show you how to use the Wikipedia Add-in tool in Microsoft Word, including step-by-step instructions to make full use of the resources, images, and infobox material Wikipedia provides.

What Is the Wikipedia Add-In Used For?

By now most of us already know what Wikipedia is used for, however, it can also be an incredibly useful tool for creating presentations, business manuals, personal notes, or study material. For anyone who needs to extract information and images from Wikipedia, you are now able to do just that using Microsoft 365 Word and its Wikipedia Add-in.

How to Access and Use Wikipedia in Word

For anyone who has an up-to-date Microsoft license, or a Microsoft 365 subscription—the Wikipedia add-in is a tool that you should already have in Microsoft Word. If you aren’t certain that you already have the add-in, go to the Insert tab on the Word ribbon and you should see the Wikipedia icon in the Add-ins group.

If you don’t see it but would like to add it, take a look at the article published here which shows you how to find, install, and open add-ins.

Insert tab in Word Document showing Wikipedia log/add-in

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To start using and recording the information found on Wikipedia in your Word document, follow the steps listed below:

  1. Open a clean Microsoft Word document
  2. Click on the Insert tab on the top ribbon
  3. In the middle of the tab, you will find the Wikipedia button
  4. Once you have clicked on the button a pop-up will appear on the right-hand side of your screen

  5. In the search bar, enter the subject heading you are researching.
  6. Underneath the search bar, four separate buttons will appear. Each button with take you to specific areas that are covered in the search. These are Sections, Images, Infobox, and References.
  7. In your Word document, place your cursor where you want the information to be in the document.
  8. Moving back to the Wikipedia pop-up, select the information you would like to add. Highlight the relevant text, or click on the picture you would like to insert.
  9. You will then see a “plus” sign to the top left of the highlighted text/picture. Click on this to see the relevant information added to your Word document.
  10. Remember to always replace your cursor before adding more information.

Highlighted script in the Wiki search that you want to add

Highlighted Inserted text in Word from Wiki including source

Pros and Cons of Using Wikipedia



The vast array of information you will find on Wikipedia.

There is a level of authenticity that Wikipedia lacks, because anyone registered can add information.

As it’s so easy to use, you can find what you are looking for quickly.

Anyone who is registered with Wikipedia can add information, and that can become disorganized.

Wikipedia allows users in different parts of the world to collaborate and share data.

Editors are unpaid volunteers, which can lead to insufficient research on the articles.

Anyone who is registered with Wikipedia can edit the information that is published.

There will always be certain topics that aren’t as popular as others, and this means that there will be fewer people editing and providing information.

Using software to control information means that any incorrect information recorded can be easily reverted.

Not everything on Wikipedia can be verified, so academic research is limited to how much they can rely on Wikipedia.

Whenever information is updated on Wikipedia the changes are reflected instantaneously.

Spam and vandalism happen on Wikipedia. Measures can be put in place to detect and deter automated spambots.

Wikipedia makes it easy for the technically unsavvy to publish information.

Content can be edited by anyone. Potentially controversial information, fake news, or even an editor’s bias can become part of the information.

Wikipedia provides you with all source and reference information to each page you visit.

The sources themselves may not be always credible.

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Creative Uses of Wikipedia in a Word Document

There is no need to wait until a company is on the Forbes list of companies to start a Wikipedia page. A well-constructed company article offers free promotion and can make any organization more visible on search engine pages.

There are other versatile ways to use Wikipedia in all business environments. From search engine visibility (Wikipedia is usually at the top of Google’s result page) that attracts new clientele, to providing citations that enhance a company’s reputation, the encyclopedia can be a branding tool.

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Updated and fact-checked Wikipedia information can be used as building blocks on any Word document. A company can even link to the Wikipedia page from a Word document and use it as a way to build trust with new clients.

For education, provided that you aren’t relying solely on the information found on Wikipedia, it can be a rich source of facts and data. Wikipedia often has tables, images, and even charts that you can utilize and add to your Word document. Most, if not all, academic institutions will ask for references or sources, and the beauty of Wikipedia is that every page has a dedicated section which lists these for you. Just don’t forget to check the cited sources yourself.

Understanding the Benefits of Wikipedia in Word

The Wikipedia Add-in in Microsoft Word gives you another way to quickly add data to your document. The Images tab in the add-in works like a picture web browser, helping you quickly scroll through images in a Wikipedia article and add it to your document if necessary. Maybe, build a travel itinerary in Word.

The core benefit: It turns Word into a research tool and saves you the bother of browsing Wikipedia in a web browser. Pick a topic you want to know more about and use this add-in to gather the basic facts on a Word document. You can quote snippets of information and the add-in links to the source automatically. It can become second nature when you work on Word a lot.

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