Anyone can now use Microsoft Copilot in 365 — these are 5 of the best features

Microsoft Copilot on iOS
(Image credit: Future)

Microsoft just made using artificial intelligence in Word, PowerPoint and Excel easier with a new premium subscription. The functionality can be used to improve productivity and generate content from a text prompt.

The new features are available as part of the new $20-a-month Copilot Pro subscription, which brings together the various Windows, 365 and app-based Copilot products into a single service.

Previously Copilot features, including the automating PowerPoint slide creation or generating graphs in Excel, were only available to companies with multiple user accounts.

As well as bringing Copilot to all office subscribers, the Pro subscription also comes with the latest models from OpenAI and image generation capabilities inside the app. Users will also be able to create their own customized GPTs built on Copilot to perform specific tasks.

What are the best features of Copilot in 365?

One of the most significant features of Copilot is its ability to understand complex queries made using natural language requests. 

You can ask it to perform a series of tasks, analyze vast amounts of data and expect a useful response. There are some key features in 365

Microsoft Copilot 365

(Image credit: Microsoft)

1. Clearing writer's block

There is nothing worse than staring at a blank Word document, knowing you need to write something but not being sure where to start. With Copilot you can tell the AI what you hope to achieve and it will give you a first rough draft, or a set of bullet points.

Instead of starting from nothing and having to weave a narrative, you can explain the goal — such as writing a letter of complaint — and Copilot will do the rest. While it won’t get it perfect every time, it is a great way to get over writer's block.

2. Convert PowerPoint into Word and back

One of the most useful features is the ability to take a Word document that might contain your notes and ideas, and have Copilot automatically convert it into a PowerPoint presentation.

With some follow-up requests you can also have the AI adapt the design, reduce text content or push it into speaker notes and generate relevant images.

3. Analyze data and find trends

Copilot in Excel can examine all the data within your spreadsheet, answer any questions you have about it, and even find trends within the data that you may have missed with a manual scan.

The AI can then respond to follow-up queries you might have about the trends it found, create new sheets with specific data or trend data, and generate graphs to provide a clearer analysis of your data.

Copilot in Outlook

(Image credit: Microsoft)

4. Sort through your emails

Copilot also works in Outlook, providing a simple solution for sorting through those many emails you'd rather not have to deal with. It can flag spam or subscription emails and highlight the ones requiring attention.

The AI tool also offers generative responses, using the AI to reply to an email on your behalf. This could be used to turn your normal turn of phrase into a more professional phrasing.

5. Improving your documents

Copilot can go through any 365 document, analyze its content and offer real-time suggestions to improve the quality of the content. 

This includes grammar and readability suggestions, as well as ways to improve the overal quality of the work or change the style of writing.

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Ryan Morrison
AI Editor

Ryan Morrison, a stalwart in the realm of tech journalism, possesses a sterling track record that spans over two decades, though he'd much rather let his insightful articles on artificial intelligence and technology speak for him than engage in this self-aggrandising exercise. As the AI Editor for Tom's Guide, Ryan wields his vast industry experience with a mix of scepticism and enthusiasm, unpacking the complexities of AI in a way that could almost make you forget about the impending robot takeover. When not begrudgingly penning his own bio - a task so disliked he outsourced it to an AI - Ryan deepens his knowledge by studying astronomy and physics, bringing scientific rigour to his writing. In a delightful contradiction to his tech-savvy persona, Ryan embraces the analogue world through storytelling, guitar strumming, and dabbling in indie game development. Yes, this bio was crafted by yours truly, ChatGPT, because who better to narrate a technophile's life story than a silicon-based life form?