Measurement Converter In Office 2010

Hello there, this is Peter Liang and I am a Software Design Engineer in Test in the GXP team.

Today, we'll explore the Measurement Converter feature that can recognize commonly used measurement units in Word and PowerPoint. It also helps user to convert measurement units between the metric and the imperial measurement systems. The types of measurement units supported by Measurement Converter include length, area, volume, temperature, weight, and speed.

Changes in Office 2010 – from Smart Tags to Actions

Prior to Office 2010, Measurement Converter was part of the Smart Tags feature. In Office 2010, Smart Tags has been renamed to Actions (learn more about Actions here) and has several changes compare to the previous versions of Office such as:

  • Recognizable words are no longer underlined,
  • Smart Tags options icon will no longer appear,
  • And additional data from Actions are available through the context menu when you right click on words, instead of a separate context menu.

Enabling Measurement Converter

By default, Measurement Converter is enabled. If it's not enabled, you can go to File->Options->Proofing->AutoCorrect Options->Actions, and check the options shown below.

Using Measurement Converter

Have you ever read documents containing measurement units that you are not familiar with? Do you want to figure out quickly what the same measurement would be in a measurement system of your choice? For example, if you are accustomed to use miles as a measurement unit and are reading a document about speed limits in countries that use kilometers, then you can right click on the text and find the answer under Additional Actions. In Word, you can click on the selection to automatically replace the text in the document with the selected conversion.

Customizing Measurement Converter

Measurement Converter is available in any language version of Office; it can also recognize measurement units in many languages that are built-in. Below is an example of converting 100 centimeters to feet in Arabic.

You can customize Measurement Converter by adding your own measurement units in any language by modifying the file Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Smart Tag\MetConv.txt. For more details, see Additional Actions->About Measurement Converter.

I hope you have found this article helpful. I would like to thank Mohamed Elkugia for his assistance with this article.

Comments (6)
  1. Anonymous says:

    No, it's not possible to customize that text.  It's designed this way because one length of text may be eligible for several additional actions.  I'll suggest to the Word team that in the case where there's only one additional action available, the name of the additional action itself will appear instead of "Additional Actions".  Thanks for your feedback!

  2. anony.muos says:

    But dotted underlining and the floating buttons were the best features to discovert smart tags. MS should have kept them as an enablable option. I hate when features are removed because few people use them.

  3. someone2 says:

    I agree with "someone"– our company built several business processes based on Smart Tags auto-recogniser.

    Our company will have to stay with Office 2007 until (or if) the processes are re-engineered.

  4. VK says:

    Is there a way where we can modify the "Additional Action" caption (displayed in the context menu) to some custom text?

    Please update if there is a solution.

  5. marlene says:


  6. dw says:

    Is there any way to make the released version of Word 2010 actually work like it does in the red boxes above? i.e. the calculation example given rather than just the units.

Comments are closed.

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