Microsoft Has Added the Ultimate Problem Solver to Word

Its two new intelligent tools promise to help you become a better writer and researcher.

Photo by Flavia Morlachetti / Getty Images

Homonyms are typos, too. But for years, Microsoft Word didn’t really know the difference between affect and effect, to and too, and further and farther. Correct grammar aside, they were words, and they were spelled correctly. No squiggly red or green lines to make you think there was a lingering mistake in an otherwise pristine document. That is, until this week. In an update to Microsoft 365 suite, two new intelligent services have been added in Word: “Editor” and “Researcher.”

Editor is a new tool that helps provide advanced proofing and editing services. Developed with the help of linguists, the tool not only alerts you when you’ve objectively broken a spelling or grammar rule but also flags unclear phrases or complex words to help simplify your writing. An additional update, to be released in the fall, will mark spelling, grammar, and writing style edits. It will also provide additional insight as to why words or phrases are incorrect to help you learn grammatical rules.

Also part of the forthcoming update is Researcher, a tool geared towards helping people write scholarly papers. It allows users to see verified, related materials available from the Bing Knowledge Graph—a database of over 21 billion facts—and add it to the document with proper citations.

The only catch? You must have Office 365—the monthly or yearly subscription cloud service that includes downloads for the most recent version of Office applications—to use these tools.

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