With much of the world in lockdown due to #COVID19, I missed the initial announcement of this feature last week – but you can read the full release here.
From an education perspective, this is a welcome announcement and becomes another tool for students and educators to leverage to assist in improving their writing. From the original blog:
Microsoft Editor, an AI-powered service that enables you to write with confidence in 20+ languages, can help. Write polished prose, craft impressive emails, and post on your favorite sites like LinkedIn, Gmail, Facebook, and more.
Microsoft Editor comes in two forms:
- Free – basic editor functionality such as spelling and grammar powered by the Microsoft Account (MSA) such as outlook.com, hotmail.com etc.
- Paid – as part of the Office365 subscriptions there is additional functionality such as advanced grammar and style refinements, including clarity, conciseness, formal language vocabulary suggestions and even plagiarism suggestions.
That last one, plagiarism checking, is called “Similarity Checker” and is particularly important for education where students and academics are regularly required to prove that their writing is either their own, or suitably attributed. From the blog:
The web provides every writer with a huge amount of reference material, and it can be challenging and time-consuming to properly do citations. Similarity checker helps by identifying potentially unoriginal content and making it easy to insert relevant citations. This feature will be available in the coming months in Word for the web.
Where Will Microsoft Editor Show Up?
There are three areas you can access Editor:
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Outlook (And Outlook Online)
- In the browser using a soon-to-be-released browser plugin for Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome Browsers (this means that when writing blogs or lengthy Facebook posts you’re covered!)
As always, I recommend you check out the original post about this and if you’re an educator, look to promote this with your students and colleagues.