Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.


How to use Image Creator from Microsoft Designer (formerly Bing Image Creator)

It's free, there's no waitlist, and you don't even need to use Edge to access it. Here's everything else you need to know to get started using Microsoft's AI art generator.
Written by Maria Diaz, Staff Writer
Reviewed by Alyson Windsor
A photo generated with the Image Creator from Designer using the prompt "a photo of a robot taking a picture with a DSLR camera in a studio".

A photo generated with the Image Creator from Designer, using the prompt "a photo of a robot taking a picture with a DSLR camera in a studio."

Maria Diaz/ZDNET via Image Creator from Designer

As the use of different artificial intelligence (AI) tools has exploded in the past year, we've seen the development of generative AI sprouting in the most unlikely places. The release of OpenAI's ChatGPT in fall of 2022 quickly led to Google, Microsoft, and Meta all coming up with their own AI chatbots with BardBing Chat (aka Copilot), and Meta AI

Along with that, Microsoft also released an AI image generator within Bing that is powered by DALL-E 3, the latest of OpenAI's visual projects. Microsoft was using a previous version of DALL-E to power its image creator until DALL-E 3 was incorporated into it, featuring improved image quality, more accurate prompt processing, and enhanced details within images. Now, the company renamed this tool from Bing Image Creator to Image Creator from Microsoft Designer.

How to use: Midjourney | Craiyon AI | DALL-E 2 | Stable Diffusion | DALL-E 3 in ChatGPT

Using the Image Creator from Designer is possible through Copilot, formerly known as Bing Chat, or directly on the tool's website, and is as easy as giving an AI chatbot like ChatGPT a prompt. 

How to use the Image Creator from Designer

Dodo photo

Would anyone believe this is a real Dodo Bird randomly found wandering about? Image created with Image Creator from Designer.

Maria Diaz via Bing Image Creator/ZDNET

What you need: Using the Image Creator from Designer requires access to Bing.com; no need for an OpenAI account. The Image Creator can be accessed via Copilot in the new Bing or by going to Bing.com/Create

Also: I'm taking AI image courses for free on Udemy with this little trick - and you can too

We'll cover how to create images directly on the Image Creator from Designer site, but you can find how to generate images in a chat with the new Bing in the FAQ below.

1. Go to the Image Creator from Designer and log in

You don't need Microsoft Edge to access the Image Creator from Designer. Just go to Bing.com/Create and click on Join & Create to log in to your Microsoft account and access the image generator. 

Join and create

On the homepage for the Image Creator from Designer, click on Join & Create.

Screenshot by Maria Diaz/ZDNET

2. Enter your prompt

Next, enter a description of the image you want to prompt the Image Creator to generate for you. Just like when using an AI chatbot, be as descriptive as possible to ensure your result is accurate.

After you enter your prompt in the text area, click on Create

Enter prompt

Enter your prompt in the text area.

Screenshot by Maria Diaz/ZDNET

For this prompt, I'm going to request the following: "photo of a dodo bird sitting on a concrete floor of a brightly lit home in the tropics." Then I click on Create and wait for my images to be generated.

3. View your results

Once your images are ready, it's time to check the results. DALL-E 3 and the Image Creator from Designer will both typically display four generated images for each prompt. 

Also: How to use DALL-E 3 in ChatGPT

They're not always great, as the free AI image generators are often not advanced enough to create truly lifelike images, so you may see some errors in details, such as a person's fingers or eye positioning, or the keys on a computer keyboard, for example. 

As you can see below, the images that were generated capture almost exactly what I prompted the Image Creator to make. Asking it to create an image of a bird that is extinct was a big challenge as DALL-E 3 isn't trained on many different images of dodo birds due to them going extinct in the 17th century. There are some resemblances to a pelican and a toucan in the images put out by the Image Creator, but it is accurate enough, for the most part.


The Image Creator from Designer's preview results were created with the prompt I entered (highlighted at the top).

Screenshot by Maria Diaz/ZDNET

4. Download your image(s)

After looking through the generated images, I decided to download the picture below. Just clicking on an image will expand it and give you the options to Share, Save to your account, Download, or provide Feedback. It's worth noting that you can download one, all, or none of the images. 

In a new feature since merging the tool with Designer, Microsoft now lets you quickly customize the image as well. Clicking on Customize will open Microsoft Designer.

Swan image - Bing

This was my favorite photo of the four.

Screenshot by Maria Diaz/ZDNET


Can I create images using Microsoft Copilot or Bing Chat?

There are two ways to use the Image Creator from Designer. You can generate images by going to Bing.com/Create, as detailed above, or you can create images right from Copilot with GPT-4, also known as the new Bing. 

Creating images in Copilot with GPT-4

I asked Copilot with GPT-4, "create a photo of a lazy panda sleeping in a room with gold accents and forest green curtains."

Screenshot by Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Here's how you can ask Image Creator from Designer to create an image right from the chat window; the same process works for the Microsoft Copilot AI chatbot:

  1. Open Microsoft Edge
  2. Go to Bing.com
  3. Click on Chat
  4. Write your prompt; it can begin with a phrase like "create an image" or "generate a photo", but it's not necessary. Copilot with GPT-4 typically recognizes your intent.

Also: How to use Copilot (formerly called Bing Chat)

Copilot can create images in any conversation style, whether it's set to Creative, Balanced, or Precise. 

One of the pros of using Copilot to generate images is that you can ask follow-up questions to have Copilot adjust the image. Copilot proposes questions like, "Can you make the monkey wear a hat?" and "Change the color of the Vespa to blue".

How do you write prompts to create images using AI?

The more specific you are in your prompts, the better; think of the prompt as a detailed description of the image you have in mind. Include adjectives, nouns, and verbs to describe the image and what the subject is doing -- even styles are encouraged. If you ask the AI bot to create "a photo of...," you'll get a different result than if you say create a cartoon, a painting, or a 3D render; so the image style is important.

Bing Image Creator template

This is the best way to build a successful Bing Image Creator prompt.

Screenshot by Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Here's how the Image Creator recommends you format your prompts: Adjective + Noun + Verb + Style

Also: I've tested a lot of AI tools for work. These are my 5 favorite so far

In the example above, that would be "Fuzzy creature wearing sunglasses, digital art." 

You can use different terms to describe the style, as well, such as impressionism, cubism, abstract, etc. 

Do I own AI-generated images?

The latest line from the United States Copyright Office (USCO) is that AI-generated images are not protected under current copyright laws because they are not the product of human authorship. Images generated with Designer have an invisible watermark to denote that it is AI-generated content. The watermark includes Microsoft's information and the date and time the image was generated.

AI image generators have created controversy as they're AI bots trained on images found online, which have been created by someone else. While the art you create using an image creator tool is unique, it's created with the influences of millions of artists on the internet.

Also: Have 10 hours? IBM will train you in AI fundamentals - for free

The copyright ruling is subject to change. The USCO is holding listening sessions throughout 2023 to explore the subject more deeply and make necessary changes.

Is Image Creator from Designer free?

The Image Creator from Designer is free at this time, though you can pay for more boosts if you run out. Boosts are like credits, where each prompt you give it to create an image will cost you one of your boosts. Users used to get 25 boosts when they'd first start using the Image Creator, but it has since increased to 100. 

Once you run out of boosts, the Image Creator will take longer to generate images after it's given a prompt. Instead of 10-30 seconds, it can take up to five minutes. 

Also: ChatGPT vs. Bing Chat: Which AI chatbot should you use?

Is Image Creator from Designer the same as DALL-E?

DALL-E 2 and the Image Creator from Designer are not the same. As with GPT-4 in the new Bing or Copilot, Microsoft is incorporating the more advanced DALL-E 3 into its image creator. DALL-E 3 is available for ChatGPT Plus subscribers as well. Right now, the Image Creator from Designer is the only way to use DALL-E 3 for free.

Is there a waitlist to use the Image Creator from Designer?

There is no waitlist to use the Image Creator from Designer at this time. All you have to do is log in to the website with your Microsoft account, and you'll have access to it. 

Disclaimer: Using AI-generated images could lead to copyright violations, so people should be cautious if they're using the images for commercial purposes.   

Editorial standards