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How to use Copilot Pro to write, edit, and analyze your Word documents

Word

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

Microsoft’s Copilot Pro AI offers a few benefits for $20 per month. But the most helpful one is the AI-powered integration with the different Microsoft 365 apps. For those of you who use Microsoft Word, either the paid desktop version or the free web version, Copilot Pro can help you write and revise text, summarize your documents, and answer questions about any document.

To use Copilot Pro with the desktop version of Word, you’ll need a subscription to either Microsoft 365 Personal or Family. Priced at $70 per year, the Personal edition is geared for one individual signed in to as many as five devices. At $100 per year, the Family edition is aimed at up to six people on as many as five devices. The core apps in the suite include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote.

To use the AI tool with the free web version of Word, you need a Microsoft account to sign in to Microsoft 365 online.

Also: Microsoft Copilot vs. Copilot Pro: Is the subscription fee worth it?

Second, you’ll need a subscription to Copilot Pro if you don’t already have one. To sign up, head to the Copilot Pro website. Click the Get Copilot Pro button. Confirm the subscription and the payment. The next time you use Copilot on the website, in Windows, with the desktop or web version of Microsoft 365, or with the mobile apps, the Pro version will be in effect.

How to use Copilot Pro in the desktop version of Word

Word

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

At the text field in the window, type a description of the text you need and click the “Generate” button.

Submitting your request

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Copilot generates and displays its response. After reading the response, you’re presented with a few options.

Reviewing the response and your options

Review the response and your options.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

If you like the draft, click “Keep it”. The draft is then inserted into your document where you can work with the text. If you don’t like the draft, click the “Regenerate” button, and a new draft is created. 

Also: What is Copilot (formerly Bing Chat)? Here’s everything you need to know

Click the trashcan icon if you’d prefer to throw out the entire draft and start from scratch.

Keep, regenerate, or remove the draft options

Keep, regenerate, or remove the draft.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

Alternatively, you can try to modify the draft by typing a specific request in the text field, such as “Make it more formal”, “Make it shorter”, or “Make it more casual”.

Altering the draft

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If you regenerate the draft, you can switch between the different versions by clicking the left or right arrow next to the number. You can choose to keep the draft you prefer.

Review the different versions

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

Copilot will also help you fine-tune existing text. Select the text you want to revise. Click the Copilot icon in the left margin and select “Rewrite with Copilot”.

Revising existing text

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Copilot creates a few different versions of the text. Click the arrow keys to view each version.

Reviewing the different versions

Review the different versions.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

Replace or Insert options

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

Click “Regenerate” to ask Copilot to try again. Click the “Adjust Tone” button and select a different tone to generate another draft.

Adjusting the tone

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Sometimes you have text that would look and work better as a table. Copilot can help. Select the text you wish to turn into a table. Click the Copilot icon and select “Visualize as a Table”.

Turning text into a table

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

In response, click “Keep it” to retain the table. Click “Regenerate” to try again. Click the trash can icon to delete it. Otherwise, type a request in the text field, such as “remove the second row” or “make the last column wider”.

Responding to the table

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

Copilot Pro can provide a summary of a document with its key points. To try this tool, open the document you want to summarize and click the Copilot icon on the Ribbon. 

Also: The best AI chatbots

The right sidebar displays several prompts you can use to start your question. Click the one for “Summarize this doc”.

Summarizing a document

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

View the generated summary in the sidebar. If you like it as is, click the “Copy” button to copy the summary and paste it elsewhere.

Reviewing the summary

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

Otherwise, choose one of the suggested questions or ask your question to revise the summary. For example, you could tell Copilot to make the summary longer, shorter, more formal, or less formal. 

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You could also ask it to expand on one of the points in the summary or provide more details on a certain point. A specific response is then generated based on your request.

Revising the summary

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

Next, you can ask specific questions about any content in a document. Again, click the Copilot icon to display the sidebar. In the prompt area, type and submit your question. Copilot displays the response in the sidebar. You can then ask follow-up questions as needed.

Asking questions about a document

Ask questions about a document.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

How to use Copilot Pro in the web version of Word

Browse to the Microsoft 365 website and sign in with your Microsoft account. From the list of apps at the left, click the icon for Word and create a new blank document. Click the “Draft with Copilot” icon.

Launch Word

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Enter a description of the content you need and then click the Generate button.

Submit your request

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

Read the response. At the bottom of the page, you can react in a few different ways. 

Also: How to write better ChatGPT prompts in 5 steps

Click the Regenerate button to request a different answer. Click the Discard icon to delete the response and start over from scratch. Click the “Keep it” button to accept the response. In the text field, type a different request to revise the response, such as “make it shorter”, “make it longer”, or “make it more formal”.

Review the response

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

Beyond generating new content, Copilot Pro can revise existing text. Select the text you want to change and then click the Copilot icon. From the three menu choices, click “Auto rewrite”.

Revise existing text

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

After the selected text is rewritten, you’re given a few options. You can replace the existing text with the revision. You can insert the revision below the existing text. Otherwise, type another request to revise the new text further.

Choose what to do with the new content

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

Next, you can transform the text into a table. Select the text you wish to convert. Click the Copilot icon and select “Visualize as a table” from the menu. You can then keep the table, regenerate it, delete it, or fine-tune it.

Turn text into a table

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

You can also ask Copilot Pro to summarize the key points in a document. Open the document you want to summarize and click the Copilot icon. From the suggested questions, click “Summarize this doc”.

Summarize a document

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

Beyond asking for a summary, you can pose specific questions about a document. Type your question in the field, “Ask me anything about this document”. Copilot then answers your question, allowing you to copy the answer and give it a thumbs up or down.

Ask questions about a document

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

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