Microsoft is expected to add “Text Predictions” to Word, the company’s document composing, editing, and processing platform. The new feature for Word within the Microsoft 365 cloud-based office productivity suite will work very similar to the Google Docs’ Smart Compose option.
Microsoft is working on a new feature for Word that should help users compose documents quickly. As per an entry in the Microsoft 365 product roadmap, Word will soon receive a text predictions feature.
The entry clearly notes the update is “currently in development and testing”. Moreover, it is the only feature that Microsoft has openly mentioned. This means the feature will roll out first for Microsoft 365 Word.
How will the Microsoft 365 Word Text Prediction feature work?
Text prediction is now on the Microsoft 365 roadmap. The company will reportedly offer the feature to Word users starting next month.
Microsoft has designed Text Prediction to anticipate what the user intends to write next and save them the effort of typing it out in full. After its release, Word will begin to generate text predictions in real-time as the user types.
Text Prediction will present an option for the next word similar to Google Docs’ Smart Compose option. This means the predicted text will appear as “greyed out”. Users will have the option of approving or rejecting the suggestion.
— Jorgen Hauge (@Jorgenhauge) February 22, 2021
To approve the word that the Text Prediction feature suggests, users merely need to hit the TAB key. To reject the suggestion, users can click the ESC key or continue typing. Users who do not wish to see any suggestions can easily turn off the Text Prediction feature completely.
It is important to note that the Text Prediction feature will rely on the text that users have entered previously. Moreover, the service should improve over time as it gradually picks up on each user’s writing style and linguistic preferences. In other words, users must let the feature “learn” their typing style.
Microsoft indicates the Text Prediction feature for Word in Microsoft 365 should help minimize errors of spelling and grammar. However, the company is currently developing the feature and will roll out the same gradually to users by the end of next month.
Will Microsoft offer the new feature in MS Office 2021 and Word for macOS?
It is unclear when the Text Prediction upgrade will arrive for the web client or Word for macOS. As the web version relies on related backend servers, the Word client in the web version should receive the feature soon.
Microsoft is planning to add text predictions to Word in March. The new feature will work similarly to Google Docs’ Smart Compose option, using machine learning to predict what words an author will need to speed up document creation. https://t.co/xkch79xCgn #NewsPublishing
— E&P (@EditorPublisher) February 22, 2021
Microsoft recently announced MS Office 2021, the completely offline edition of its office productivity suite. However, there’s no confirmation about MS Office 2021, the offline office productivity suite, getting the feature. The MS Office 2019 should not receive the same.
Microsoft is quickly offering new features to rival Google and its Google Docs service. Microsoft was once the undisputed and dominant player in the office productivity suite market. However, the transition to a subscription-first model and the rise of Google Workspace has introduced much-needed competition.