Microsoft integrates Notepad with Copilot on Windows 11

Windows 11 Notepad
(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft has confirmed that Notepad for Windows 11 is getting an AI upgrade.
  • Insiders can now test an early build of Notepad with a new "Explain with Copilot" feature.
  • Users will be able to ask Copilot to explain text within a Notepad text file.

The Notepad app on Windows 11 is getting an AI upgrade with a new "Explain with Copilot" feature that will break down and analyze text highlighted by the user. Microsoft is making available an early preview build of the new Notepad app today for testers in the Windows Insider Canary and Dev Channels.

The new Explain with Notepad feature can be accessed by right-clicking on highlighted text within the app. Selecting it will copy the text selected and automatically paste it into the Copilot for Windows sidebar, where it will search the internet for answers.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

This is the first example of Microsoft building Windows Copilot integration into the in-box apps found in Windows. Thanks to a leak, we already know that Microsoft is also working on bringing its AI-powered Cowriter to Notepad, which will be able to write entire text documents based on a users specific criteria. Cowriter in Notepad will even be able to adjust tone, length, and format. 

Microsoft is yet to announce Cowriter in Notepad, but today's announcement of Explain with Copilot in Notepad is likely the first of many AI-centric features the text editor will be getting over the next year. 

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter and Threads