Microsoft has been busy recently bringing several new AI features to its Office apps. The company has just given Word a boost with some new interactive artificial intelligence bells and whistles.
These productivity features have been designed to streamline workflows, as the software titan revealed in a blog post.
At its core is the ability to manage how content is added to a file. The interactive bit comes via placeholder text that workers can leave in a document to mark incomplete sections or provide input for colleagues while they finish up.
AI can, obviously, be great for providing intelligent suggestions.
But the technology can also help to reduce distractions.
Redmond wants to make it easier for users that regularly create these kinds of placeholders in Word documents, while also allowing them a streamlined way to keep track of all of them. The built-in To-Do feature will automatically create placeholders for users in Word documents.
The program will also keep track of these placeholders and display them in a dedicated panel when users come back to the document.
Jared Spataro, the corporate vice president of Office 365 at Microsoft talks about this:
“Technologies like Editor — Word’s AI-powered writing assistant — make it an indispensable tool for the written word. But at some point in the writing process, you’ll need some information you don’t have at your fingertips, even with the best tools. When this happens, you likely do what research tells us many Word users do: leave a placeholder in your document and come back to it later to stay in your flow.”
This AI powered To-Do feature is available in the latest Insider builds of Office for Mac, while it is set to arrive on Word for Windows and the web soon.
Further down the road, these placeholders will also be integrated with Microsoft Search, the universal search tool that the company recently introduced for Office 365, Bing and Windows. The tool will make use of artificial intelligence to automatically suggest relevant content.