Alongside the April 2020 rebranding of Office 365 to Microsoft 365, the company's core productivity apps gained some useful new features.

Arguably the most impressive is Microsoft Word's Rewrite, which uses artificial intelligence to improve phrasing and ensure you are more effectively core productivity apps received a number of new features. This was first unveiled at Microsoft's Build developer conference in 2019, and is now available for consumers to use.

Here's all you need to know about the feature, including how to get started using it. 

What is Microsoft Word Rewrite?

Rewrite is a feature now built-in to the latest version of Microsoft Word. It uses AI to suggest alternative expressions to improve your phrasing and better convey what you're trying to say. This goes one step further than the AI features on Google Docs , which auto-complete sentences based on what it things you're going to write. 

This feature has a number of credible use cases, and could potentially have a significant impact on the way we create content. Word is already used in a huge range of different scenarios, with everyone from tech journalists to company executives relying on it.

It may also be effective in helping children learn to improve their vocabulary and grammar, as well as honing the ability to write for a specific purpose. 

How to use Microsoft Word Rewrite

To use Word Rewrite you'll first to have the latest version of Microsoft Word, which means subscribing to Microsoft 365. Prices start from £59.99 a year, and details of all the plans are available here

Microsoft does still release new versions of its programs for one-off purchase, but a three-year update cycle means you could be waiting until late 2021 to get access to Word Rewrite. 

Once you have that sorted, just follow these few simple tips:

  1. Create a new document or open an existing one in the way you normally would
  2. Ensure you have at least a sentence of text in your document (you can write the whole piece first if you'd prefer)
  3. Highlight a phrase or sentence, right-click and select 'Rewrite'. This might still say Preview in brackets, but should still work as advertised
  4. In the pane that comes up on the side of the screen, three suggestions for alternative phrasing will appear
  5. Clicking the drop down arrow next to each suggestion offers options to read it aloud, ensuring you choose the phrasing that sounds just right

That's it! Word Rewrite will be available to call on whenever you need help with phrasing. Think of it as a more advanced version of Clippit, the virtual paper clip assistant that was removed in Word 2007. 

Read about all of the changes in the Microsoft 365 rebranding here