About smart tags

You can save time by using smart tags (action tags: Data recognized and labeled as a particular type. For example, a person's name or the name of a recent Microsoft Outlook e-mail message recipient is a type of data that can be recognized and labeled with an action tag.) to perform actions (actions: Tasks that can be performed by using smart tags. For example, adding a name to a Microsoft Outlook Contacts folder is one action that might be taken with a person name smart tag.) in Microsoft Excel that you'd usually open other programs to perform.

The purple triangles in the corners of cells on your worksheet indicate the smart tags.

Smart tag indicators

Callout 1 Smart tag indicators

Financial symbol After typing a U.S. stock symbol in a cell on a worksheet in Excel — for example MSFT — you can use the smart tag options to gain instant access to published Web information about a company without having to open a separate Internet browser window.

For example, you can click a smart tag and then select the action Recent news on MSN MoneyCentral. The browser opens to a Web page of news and information about the company you selected. When you're finished, you can close the browser, and continue to work in Excel.

A person's name     Another action you can take is to add a person's name and address from your worksheet to a Office Outlook 2003 contact folder — without having to copy the information in Excel, open Outlook, and then paste the information into Outlook.

Instead, type a name, click Smart Tag Actions Button image, and then select the action Add to Contacts. The Contact dialog box opens with the name and address already entered. If you want, you can fill in additional information, and then continue to work in Excel.

ShowHow smart tags work

Excel recognizes certain types of data that it labels with smart tags. The type of actions you can take depend on the data that Excel recognizes and labels with a smart tag.

For example, if you recently sent mail to "Nate Sun", and you type the name into a cell on an Excel worksheet, the name is recognized and given a smart tag with actions you can take including Send Mail, Schedule a Meeting, Open Contact, or Add to Contacts.

The smart tag indicators appear in the cell on your worksheet as you type. They may also appear when you open a previously saved document.

 Note   Smart tags are turned off by default in Excel.

ShowHow to use smart tags

When Excel recognizes types of data, the data is marked with a smart tag indicator — a purple triangle in a worksheet cell. To find out what actions you can take with a smart tag, move the insertion point over the text with a smart tag indicator until Smart Tag Actions Button image appears, and then click the arrow next to the button to see a menu of actions.

Smart tag indicators and button

Callout 1 Smart tag indicator
Callout 2 Smart Tag Actions button

If you save an Excel document that contains smart tags as a Web page, some tasks can be performed on the Web by using Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 or later. You can also use smart tags in your Outlook e-mail messages and in Microsoft Word.

ShowHow to get more smart tags

You can click More Smart Tags (on the Tools menu, click AutoCorrect Options, and then click the Smart Tags tab) to go to Web sites to find new smart tags and actions.

You might find additional smart tags created by Microsoft, by third-party companies, or by Information Technology (IT) professionals, who may design smart tags and actions for the specific products or services that you work with. For example, if you work in a sales department, you might be able to click a "product name" smart tag in your document that offers actions such as "check quantity" in stock or price.

 Note   The types of smart tags that come with Excel vary with the language that is enabled.

Other buttons you may see in your worksheet

At times other buttons may appear as you work in your workbook.

ShowAutoCorrect Options button

The AutoCorrect Options Button image button first appears as a small, blue box when you rest the mouse pointer near text that was automatically corrected, and changes to a button icon when you point to it.

If you find on occasion that you don't want text to be corrected, you can undo a correction or turn AutoCorrect options on or off by clicking the button and making a selection.

ShowPaste Options button

The Paste Options Button image button appears just below your pasted selection after you paste text or data. When you click the button, a list appears that lets you determine how the information is pasted into your worksheet.

The available options depend on the type of content you are pasting, the program you are pasting from, and the format of the text where you are pasting.

ShowAuto Fill Options button

The Auto Fill Options Button image button appears just below your filled selection after you fill text or data in a worksheet. When you click the button, a list appears to give you options for how to fill the text or data.

The available options depend on the content you are filling, the program you are filling from, and the format of the text or data you are filling.

ShowError Checking Options button

The Trace Error Button image button appears next to the cell in which a formula error occurs, and a green triangle appears in the upper-left of the cell. When you click the arrow next to Trace Error Button image, a list appears to give you options for error checking.

ShowInsert Options button

The Insert Options Button image button appears next to your inserted cells, rows, or columns. When you click the arrow next to Insert Options Button image, a list of formatting options appears.

Applies to:
Excel 2003