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Microsoft Word Online to add Ideas AI to help you improve your writing

Due to hit the online version of Word this fall, the new feature will suggest ways to polish your prose.

Microsoft Word users who would like a helping hand at sprucing up their writing will be able to try a built-in AI tool coming later this year.

As part of its Build 2019 Conference on Monday, Microsoft announced that Word Online will incorporate a feature known as Ideas this fall. Backed by artificial intelligence and machine learning courtesy of Microsoft Graph, Ideas will suggest ways to help you enhance your writing and create better documents. Ideas will also show you how to better organize and structure your documents by suggesting tables, styles, and other features already available in Word.

One specific example cited by Microsoft concerns feedback from Microsoft Graph that users typically bypass automated tools in Word to structure their documents, such as section heads. Instead, they simply bold or increase the font size of a word to indicate a new section. In response, Ideas could suggest ways to make the document easier to navigate or even create a table of contents, Kirk Gregersen, a partner director of program management in Microsoft’s Experiences and Devices group, said in a blog post.

As another example, Word already offers such tools as a spell and grammar checker. But Ideas could take that concept a step further by recommending more concise or inclusive words and terms to help you better express yourself. Ideas will also try to help you review documents from other people by calculating the average time needed to read the document, by extracting and highlighting key elements from the document, and by deciphering acronyms you may not understand.

Ideas isn’t a new concept. Unveiled last September at Microsoft’s Ignite 2018 conference, the tool is already accessible in the latest versions of Excel and PowerPoint as well as in PowerPoint Online. In Excel, Ideas tries to identify certain trends and patterns in your data to help you better visualize and understand it all. In PowerPoint, Ideas suggests different ways to style your slides and incorporate images based on your content.

Ahead of its official debut in the fall, Ideas will be available in June to Office Insiders who want to take the feature for an early test drive.

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