New PowerPoint AI features help add context to your presentations

What you need to know

  • PowerPoint Designer has gained several features that focus on branding and themes.
  • Designer can add contextual perspective to your slides.
  • PowerPoint Designer has created 1 billion slides.

PowerPoint Designer is an AI effort that makes it easy to enhance presentations in Microsoft PowerPoint. It can read the information you have on your screen and suggest design ideas and ways to help illustrate your data. PowerPoint Designer has been around for a few years but recently helped create its one billionth slide. It also has recently gained a number of new features (opens in new tab) that are rolling out to Office Insiders and Office 365 subscribers.

The first new feature is the ability to work with branded templates. Designer can choose content that fits a branded layout, intelligently crop images, and recommend relevant icons and pictures automatically. Organizations can optimize their templates to work seamlessly with Designer to improve the experience.

If you don't have a branded template or want to build a slideshow from scratch, Designer can make contextual suggestions. In the blog post (opens in new tab) announcing the new features, Microsoft shares an example of typing "Q3 Data Analytics" and then several relevant photos appearing in the sidebar. All of these images can be used commercially.

Finally, Designer gained the ability to add perspective to data. The same blog post shared the example that if you type that an airplane flies at an altitude of 30,000 feet, Designer will recommend adding the fact that 30,000 feet is roughly the height of Mount Everest. Unlike the other features that are rolling out to Office Insiders, Perspectives is rolling out to Office 365 subscribers right now.

In addition to the improvements to PowerPoint Designer, Microsoft also announced the upcoming availability of Presenter Coach, a tool designed to help people share presentations. It has advice and information that can help you improve your presenting skills and also has a rehearsal mode that gives you guidance during your practice presentations. Presenter Coach is set to come out to the web later in the Summer of 2019.

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Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

2 Comments
  • I'm making PowerPoint slides all the time (this comment is PowerPoint procrastination) and the designer suggestions have been a lot of fun and very helpful. The designer can suggest layouts and image crops, and if you like the layout but not the crop, you can adjust the crop. Really great. Seriously, why would anyone still use Beamer? These new changes are very welcome. One thing I would improve in PP is the inking experience while presenting. Right now it's pretty terrible. Presenter view can't even differentiate between pen and touch input. Here's hoping that greatly improves soon.
  • Can't wait til we can say "Hey Cortana, whip me up a slide presentation on... [the most recent app we just released]" CORTANA: "And who is your primary audience?" WE: "Fellow developers." CORTANA: "Will do. While I'm at should I also create a companion presentation for senior management?" WE: "Good idea. Make it so." And walla...