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Microsoft: Now you can turn a Word doc into a visual PowerPoint presentation

Microsoft's AI can turn your text-based Word document into an online PowerPoint presentation with images.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Microsoft is rolling out a new feature called Transform that lets users of Word on the web turn a text-based document into a PowerPoint presentation with a design theme.

The new Transform command can be found in Word online under the menu options File > Transform > Transform to PowerPoint presentation. Users need to open a Word document to convert the file into a PowerPoint presentation. 

After selecting Transform, Word users need to select a design theme for the presentation and then review the outcome in PowerPoint for the web. The new PowerPoint slides will be stored in the OneDrive folder of the user. 

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The Transform feature is currently only available to users in the Office Insiders program and it does come with a number of limitations. However, once complete, it promises to use Microsoft's AI to create a Powerpoint presentation based on all the summarized sections of the document with imagery, icons, videos, themes, and fonts.

Microsoft recommends Office users test the feature by opening a Word document that is mostly text and then view what its AI suggests to create for a visual presentation after clicking on Transform. 

Transform is currently only available in English and does not work in Internet Explorer or Apple's Safari browser. Presumably that means it does work in Firefox, Chrome, and Microsoft's Chromium-based Edge browser. 

"We only support text content for the transformation to presentation, other media content support is not currently available. You can add your own media to the presentation after you have transformed your Word document," explained Mohit Anand, a program manager on the PowerPoint team. 

While it is just for Insiders now, Anand says it will be rolling it out to all web users shortly.

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Unfortunately, Microsoft hasn't provided a demonstration of how the feature transforms a text-heavy Word document into a PowerPoint presentation with AI-selected digital assets.

Researcher at Microsoft-funded OpenAI in January released Dall-e, a neural network that can generate a variety of images from text-based descriptions.   

Microsoft has been putting AI to more use in PowerPoint slides over the years. In 2019, it updated the PowerPoint Designer feature-set to provide users with suggestions for they can build slides around a photo, improve the readability of text, and adding icons to presentations.  

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