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article imageMicrosoft Word to become your writing assistant with new update

By James Walker     Jul 27, 2016 in Technology
Microsoft has announced two major new features coming to Word in an upcoming update. Researcher enables you to research information with automatic citation from within Word. Editor is a personal "writing assistant" to improve your writing style.
Announced yesterday, the two new features comprise July's Office 365 update for Word. Microsoft is focusing on adding new cloud-powered intelligent services this month, hoping to save you time while producing more informative and accurate writing.
The first of the new services, Researcher, enables you to search the internet without going to a web browser. This will particularly benefit authors of long but structured documents reliant on external sources. It could prove useful to people ranging from students working on a thesis to business leaders investigating market openings.
Researcher allows you to access reputable reference publications and search for information relevant to your document. When you open Researcher, Word uses the Bing Knowledge Graph to automatically find the most appropriate online content that’s appropriate and credible.
Researcher for Microsoft Word
Researcher for Microsoft Word
Microsoft
You can add the information to the document with a single click. Word will automatically add the text and create a properly formatted citation, effortlessly delivering you a professional document.
Researcher is available today to Office 365 subscribers using Word 2016 for Windows. It will expand to mobile devices soon. Microsoft said it will continue to add to the reference materials used by Researcher, giving it access to encyclopaedias, history databases and science and health repositories to extend its reach.
The second feature coming to Word this month is Editor. Once you've created your document's content with Researcher, Editor helps you to add the finishing touches and perfect your writing style. It expands on Word's existing proofing abilities by using machine learning, natural language processing and human input from a team of linguists to make suggestions to improve your writing.
Editor for Microsoft Word
Editor for Microsoft Word
Microsoft
Editor's scope is currently limited. At launch, it will help you to "simplify and streamline" your work by highlighting potentially unclear phrases or unnecessarily complex words. For example, it may suggest to replace "the majority of" with the more obvious "most."
Editor for Microsoft Word
Editor for Microsoft Word
Microsoft
Microsoft has broader ambitions for Editor. Later this fall, it will gain a major update and evolve into a writing assistant. Editor will be able to tell you why a word or phrase may not be grammatically accurate and then suggest alternative ways of expressing the idea.
As part of Editor's expansion, Microsoft will overhaul Word's proofing indicators this fall. The red spelling and blue grammar highlighters will be joined by a gold dotted line. This indicates a suggestion from Editor to improve your writing style or word choice.
Zoom for Microsoft PowerPoint
Zoom for Microsoft PowerPoint
Microsoft
Word isn't the only Office app to get new features this month. Microsoft is launching Zoom for PowerPoint, a new way to create interactive summary slides with smooth animation. Zoom lets you jump between slides in a presentation without having to leave the slideshow, involving viewers and allowing for presentation "home screens" to be built.
Outlook Focused Inbox
Outlook Focused Inbox
Microsoft
Outlook is also getting a substantial update, bringing Focused Inbox to all supported clients. Focused Inbox is currently available on Android and iOS but will now expand to the web, Outlook 2016 and Windows 10. It sorts your email into two folders, Focused and Other, and lets you switch between them with a single swipe. All the important mail goes into Focused. Things that aren't immediately relevant end up in Other, preventing email from consuming your day.
The new Office features will be rolling out to users over the coming months. Researcher and Editor are available now to Office 2016 consumers. Zoom for PowerPoint is available in preview today. The Outlook improvements will arrive gradually over the next few months. Commercial rollouts will be staggered depending on the Office 365 release channel in use.
More about Microsoft, microsoft word, Microsoft office, Office 365, Updates
 
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