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Web search within Excel

GPT for Excel, powered by Perplexity AI's online models, helps you search the web and fetch data from websites in bulk without leaving Excel. This guide walks you through generating descriptions for a list of companies using a web search from Excel and optimizing these results.

While you can also use the GPT_WEB function to perform this task, we'll focus on using the Search the web bulk tool in this guide.

Step 1: Get started


Open the GPT for Excel add-in and run the Search the web bulk tool with question Write one sentence to describe this company: on a few rows to see how it works.

Click Home tab, GPT for Excel Word. Then Bulk tools tab, Search the Web.

If you find the answers satisfactory, go ahead and launch your bulk web search! Otherwise, check how to improve your results in Step 2.

Step 2: Improve your results (optional)

To obtain the best results when searching the web, consider the following approaches:

GoalRecommended approach
Improve result accuracyAnalyze the sources
Use the Show sources option to understand where the information comes from and assess its reliability.
Refine search resultsNarrow down the search
Edit your question to provide more context. For example, provide the company website URL instead of providing a company name.
Ensure all URLs are processedCheck the URLs provided
  • Check that all URLs start with http://, or https://
  • Check that all URLs are publicly accessible and not behind a login page
Note: Some websites like block automated web scraping, so you may need to use a different source.
Handle complex tasksBreak down complex tasks
For multi-steps analysis, search the web to retrieve the information, then process the results with the most adapted bulk tool or GPT function. For example, you can use the Search the web bulk tool to generate a description for a company based on their website, then use the Classify bulk tool to define the company's industry based on the information retrieved.
Handle missing informationProvide a fallback plan
Edit your question to specify what to do when the answer cannot be found. For example: If the company's website does not provide the information, say "Information not found". This prevents the bulk tool from returning irrelevant information.
Once you have refined your search method and are satisfied with the results from the initial rows, you are ready to launch your bulk web search. Select more cells or even all cells, click Run rows, and watch GPT for Excel handle the rest of the web searches.