Microsoft Word users are already able to add notes to their documents using the comments feature, which serves as a placeholder for inserting more content into it. However, users will have to manually navigate the right sidebar of a document to see each note. Microsoft is now working to make the task of annotating a Word document more powerful with a new to-do feature.
Microsoft announced today that it has released the new capability in beta designed to automatically search for texts in a document containing 'todo:' or '<< insert something here >>'. Users will then be able to view a complete list of to-dos and click on each item to go to the appropriate portion in that document.
For enhanced collaboration, the feature also lets users @-mention colleagues to notify them to perform certain tasks on a shared document and Word will send them a deep link via email to the right place in the document. In the future, Microsoft plans to add the ability to take actions on the notification by directly replying to the email. It's also worth noting that the Microsoft To-Do app has a featured called shared lists designed to let users collaborate on a lineup of tasks.
Microsoft will be adding new artificial intelligence capabilities to the feature over time as well. The software giant also plans to bring Search, announced in September, to Word in order to suggest to-do content such as a chart or image. Users will then be able to select from the results and add relevant content from another document.
The new feature is now live on Office for Mac, available to Insiders on the Fast ring as a preview. It will be available to all Office 365 customers on Windows, Mac, and the web in the near future.