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Guide: How to use Microsoft Copilot

Generative AI
Rokas Jurkėnas

Microsoft Copilot has only been out for a short time, but it seems that it can improve aspects of many people’s work. In this guide, we will explain how to use it and what its main features are.

How to use Microsoft Copilot

What is Microsoft Copilot?

Microsoft Copilot is an AI-powered tool designed to help you be more productive and creative in your daily work. It can be seen in two main forms:

Standalone Copilot: This is available as a standalone chatbot through various Microsoft products like Bing, Edge, and Windows.

Copilot for Microsoft 365: This version integrates directly into popular Microsoft apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Teams. 

In this article we’ll cover Copilot for Microsoft 365. How to use it and access it.

Does Microsoft Copilot use ChatGPT?

Does Microsoft copilot use ChatGPT?

Microsoft Copilot is an AI-powered digital assistant that provides personalized assistance to users across a range of tasks and activities. 

Copilot doesn’t just connect ChatGPT to Microsoft 365 it combines large language models (LLMs) with your data in the Microsoft Graph (including your calendar, email, chats, documents, meetings, and more). It’s quite a bit different than ChatGPT or GPT4All.

Features of Microsoft 365 Copilot

  • Contextual content generation: Microsoft Copilot can generate text, summarise discussions, and even draft presentations based on the given topic, streamlining the content creation process.
  • Efficient e-mail management: In Outlook, it allows users to quickly catch up on email threads by providing concise summaries, saving time and increasing productivity.
  • Improved meeting collaboration: Within Teams, Copilot helps transcribe meetings, organize ideas and clarify context to improve the collaboration experience.
  • Dynamic document help: Provides real-time help in Word, PowerPoint, and other Microsoft 365 applications, enabling users to unlock their writing potential and create smarter, and faster.

Is Microsoft Copilot available now?

Is Microsoft copilot available now?

Yes, Microsoft Copilot is available now in multiple forms, depending on your needs and access:

Microsoft 365 Copilot:

  • This version has been generally available for enterprise customers since November 1, 2023.
  • Educational staff have access since January 1, 2024.
  • For Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers, there’s the new purchasable option called Copilot Pro.

Windows 11 Copilot:

  • This preview version is currently available in select global markets.
  • If you’re in one of the preview markets and have already updated to version 22H2, you’ll find the Copilot icon in the taskbar.

Microsoft Edge Copilot:

  • This version is already integrated with Microsoft Edge. You can try it out directly within the browser.

Can I use Microsoft Copilot for free?

Whether you can use Microsoft Copilot for free depends on what features you want to access and how you plan to use it. Here’s a breakdown:

Free Copilot Features:

If you have the latest version of Windows 11, you can access basic Copilot features for free. These include:

  • Drag and drop image search for information.
  • Natural language or voice interaction with a chatbot.
  • General search assistance.
  • Web search: You can also use Copilot for basic search assistance on Bing for free.

Paid Copilot Features:

Copilot Pro: This subscription plan unlocks more advanced features and is specifically designed for individual users. It includes:

  • Priority model access for faster and more accurate responses.
  • More advanced text generation and completion features.
  • Integration with various Microsoft apps.
  • Cost: $20.00 user/month

Copilot for Microsoft 365: This version integrates deeply with Microsoft 365 apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Teams. It requires a Microsoft 365 subscription and offers:

  • Real-time suggestions and assistance within these apps.
  • Advanced content creation and editing tools.
  • Data-driven insights and analysis.
  • Cost: $30.00 user/month (Annual commitment).

How do I access Microsoft Copilot 365?

How do I access Microsoft copilot?

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • You need to have a Microsoft 365 subscription that includes Copilot to use it.

All you have to do is:

  1. Firstly buy Microsoft 365 Copilot.
  2. Update your apps: Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Team, and Outlook.
  3. Once you open the apps there should be a Copilot icon in the top right corner.
  4. And you are all set. That is it.

How do I enable Copilot in Outlook?

How do I enable copilot in Outlook?

There is no need to mess around with any settings to activate Copilot. While it’s technically present in several Outlook versions, accessing its full functionality often depends on your specific Microsoft 365 subscription. 

Copilot in Outlook can be a handy tool for drafting emails quickly and effectively. Here’s how to use it:

Drafting an email with Copilot:

  1. Start a new email: Create a new email message as you normally would in Outlook.expand_more
  2. Access Copilot: Look for the Copilot icon in the toolbar or compose window or just type @ and the Copilot icon will appear.
  3. Provide a prompt: In the Copilot box, type a brief description of what you want your email to say. 
  4. Generate the draft: Click Generate to see your Copilot-assisted email draft.

Is Microsoft Copilot worth it?

Overall, it is a pretty great assistant. I would not say that it is a must-buy at the moment. You can get the same features with other AI tools for content creation.

However, having AI in these apps that most people use every day is pretty neat. Hopefully, it will have better capabilities soon.

Final thoughts

For a pretty hefty price, you get improved tools that can help you every day. But I would say that you are mostly paying for convenience. There are a lot of AI tools out there that can do similar things.

Microsoft Copilot is all about convenience. Not having to go to different tabs and just using the AI that is built in is great and we love that. But it feels a bit like a gimmick, like Samsung’s Galaxy AI. Is it cool? Yes, it is. Will you use it a lot? Probably not. 

I could be wrong, this is just my opinion and it is still early days for Microsoft Copilot. In time, when it’s fully developed, it’s going to be a really amazing assistant, because what we have now is just the beginning.


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Rokas Jurkėnas

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