Microsoft Brings AI Image Generation to Word & Powerpoint, Plus Other New Copilot Features

Word and PowerPoint are in the crosshairs for Microsoft's Copilot devs, with Teams and Excel also getting additional AI kick.

Microsoft has unveiled a list of new user features for its Copilot chatbot, with the forthcoming integration of AI-generated image creation in Word and PowerPoint the most eye-catching.

Additional Copilot functionality for Teams, Excel, SharePoint and Loop have also been rolled out in June or are on the roadmap for release in the coming weeks.

With no ChatGPT app yet available for Windows devices – despite now having rolled out on Macs – it’s worth discovering how Copilot can enhance your Microsoft 365 experience. We cover some of its most notable new functionality below.

Word and PowerPoint Level Up

Among the list of new features detailed in Microsoft’s ‘What’s new in Copilot‘ blog, the ability to add visuals to Word and PowerPoint documents is the one that’s likely to have the most widespread appeal.

Rolling out to the programs in July, the update will see them co-opting the capabilities of the Microsoft Designer tool for creating AI image creation.

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Users will be able to open Copilot while using Word or PowerPoint and then use prompts to create the image they want to insert into the document. Copilot will then employ Microsoft’s stock photography library to simulate the desired image.

The blog shows examples where the user has asked Copilot to “Create an image of a colorful chair in a Claymation style” and “Find me an image of space”.

“PowerPoint and Word users can create the perfect AI-generated image with a simple prompt, or pull in the ideal stock photo. To do this, they just open Copilot and use a prompt to create an image… and Copilot will generate the image.” – Seth Patton, General Manager of product marketing at Microsoft

In addition to image creation, Copilot is also giving Word users extra tools to reference PDFs and emails when creating and editing documents.

While PowerPoint users will be able to incorporate summaries from PDFs and Word documents to quickly produce presentations.

A New Tool for Teams

For users of the Teams messaging app, the Copilot tool can be utilized to customize draft messages before they’re sent.

This allows users to type a prompt such as “add a call to action,” “make it persuasive,” or “convert my message into a list and add inclusive language”, with Copilot then suggesting an alternative version of your draft.

A screen recording embedded in the blog sees Teams’ ‘Adjust’ tool being used to instruct Copilot to add a joke about web design to the message. Our sides may still be fully intact, but the facility of the tool is clear to comprehend.

Additional functionality has also been added to allow greater control over who has access to Teams recordings, transcripts and AI-generated summaries.

Extra Features for Excel and More

Excel users were previously only able to apply Copilot summaries to specific tables. But Microsoft’s AI tool is now able to recognize and analyze unformatted date ranges (so long as they have a single row of headers at the top).

Copilot has also been tweaked in the spreadsheets program so that queries result in “more conversational and comprehensive answers”. And the chatbot can be used to explain formula errors, too.

Elsewhere, businesses using Microsoft’s cloud-based SharePoint tool will get functionality to rewrite text on their pages and news posts. And there’s more scope for AI-assisted document creation in Loop.

The latest changes follow new Copilot features for Microsoft 365 rolled out earlier in the year.

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Now a freelance writer, Adam is a journalist with over 10 years experience – getting his start at UK consumer publication Which?, before working across titles such as TechRadar, Tom's Guide and What Hi-Fi with Future Plc. From VPNs and antivirus software to cricket and film, investigations and research to reviews and how-to guides; Adam brings a vast array of experience and interests to his writing.
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