Microsoft has announced its answer to Grammarly and Google's recent AI updates for G Suite with the new Microsoft Editor browser extension coming to Chrome and Edge in the next few weeks.
Microsoft Editor is an AI-powered tool that helps users with spelling and grammar in Word, Outlook, and any website via the browser extension. The tool is free with a Microsoft account but there are more advanced features available in the newly branded Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscriptions.
Microsoft reckons Editor suggestions can help everyone, from people with dyslexia to workers inundated with email.
The new Editor service was announced alongside Microsoft's rebranding yesterday of Office 365 Home and Personal subscriptions to Microsoft 365 Personal and Microsoft 365 Family subscriptions.
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In Word, Editor replaces Ideas and offers grammar and sentence suggestions in more than 20 languages. The Editor pane in Word can be opened by clicking the pen icon and is available in French, Spanish, English, and German.
Editor for Word features a new Similarity Checker to weed out any instances of plagiarism and one-click help to include proper citation in a document.
It also offers rewrite suggestions for whole sentences rather than one fix at a time, which could be handy when users want to rephrase a sentence they're struggling with. This can be done by highlighting the sentence, right-clicking, and selecting Rewrite Suggestions in the context menu.
Editor promises to clean up email messages in Outlook.com and Outlook on the web. There is a free version with more advanced capabilities for Microsoft 365 subscribers.
The Chrome and Edge Editor browser extension addresses grammar, style and spell checking across websites, such as when posting on Facebook or LinkedIn. It will provide basic spelling checks in 89 languages.
Microsoft has detailed some of the work that's gone into making Editor a capable writing assistant that also addresses bias in language, for example, its inclusive language critiques, which might suggest 'police officer' for 'policeman'. It also created a block list of words that have a higher chance of causing offense.