Microsoft Word is getting a new feature on both Window and macOS that would be powered by Microsoft’s advanced AI engine to handle placeholders within documents in a much more effective way.
The application will automatically recognize placeholders and convert them to simple to-do lists that you can see and manage separately when you return to the document.
“Today, we’re starting to roll out new capabilities to Word that help users create and fill in these placeholders without leaving the flow of their work. For example, type TODO: finish this section or <> and Word recognizes and tracks them as to-dos. When you come back to the document, you’ll see a list of your remaining to-dos, and you can click each one to navigate back to the right spot,” Microsoft explains.
More improvements planned
This feature will further evolve in the coming months, and the placeholders can include mentions for a specific coworker that can join the work on the document and add the content you’re requesting them. Microsoft Word will be able to send notifications to your coworkers, and a deep link that will point straight to the place that needs to be edited within a document would also be included.
“Soon, they’ll be able to reply to the notification with their contributions, and those contributions will be inserted directly into the document—making it easy to complete the task with an email from any device,” Microsoft explains.
Other improvements that will follow in the coming months will rely on Microsoft Search to help fill in these placeholders, and users will be able to automatically import content, like graphics or sales figures, from other documents.
Microsoft has already started testing this new feature this week, and Office insiders in the Fast ring can try it out on Windows and Mac. The public rollout will begin soon on both platforms, as well as on the web. An Office 365 subscription will be required.