Microsoft adds AI features to PowerPoint like Presenter Coach and branded templates

If you're unfamiliar with Microsoft's PowerPoint Designer, it's an assistive AI tool that's meant to help you build better slides, using suggestions for designs. Microsoft announced today that there are now a billion slides made using Designer as of April, and it introduced some new features today.

For one thing, Designer now works with branded templates. All of the Design Ideas used are made from layouts in the Slide Master, so the presentation will stay on-brand. Also, companies can optimize their templates for Designer, offering more options.

There are also new Designer theme ideas. When you start typing words into a slide in a blank presentation, you'll be offered a bunch of images, which are already licensed for commercial use. The images are meant to work with whatever you typed, and to be a good start for your presentation.

Designer perspectives are meant to give context to large numbers. For example, if you use the phrase, "Commercial planes fly at 30,000 feet", it will offer to add something like, "About the height of Mount Everest". Or if you say that Afghanistan is 652,232 square kilometers, it can add that it's about the size of Texas.

Finally, and perhaps most interesting, is something called Presenter Coach. This feature will make suggestions based on the way you present. It will gauge your pace, let you know if you use filler words like "uh", and more. When you're done, it will give you a score and suggestions to improve. Presenter Coach is coming to PowerPoint on the web this summer.

The rest of the features are rolling out now for Office 365 customers, although Designer perspectives is only available in English.

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