Microsoft Designer is being built into Edge

Microsoft Designer is being built into Edge

Microsoft is introducing a bunch of new features to its AI-powered graphic design tool, Microsoft Designer, to streamline how users design social media posts. The platform will soon be directly accessible through the Edge web browser and has additional AI-powered creative tools that will help it compete with rival graphic design services like Canva.

Microsoft Designer was first unveiled in October last year and includes AI text-to-image features such as tools like Stable Diffusion. Users can generate images using text prompts, incorporating the results into projects such as invitations, greeting cards, and social media posts. Think of it as a combination of DALL-E and Adobe Express, albeit with significant limitations.

Designer in Edge provides a quick solution for creating social media content while working directly on the post.
Image: Microsoft

Now, Microsoft is releasing a version of the Designer app for its Edge web browser. Designer in Edge is built natively into the browser’s sidebar so users can start working on a new project and publish it to platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest without switching to a separate window. It doesn’t require a downloadable extension and will provide suggestions to include in your posts as you work.

Starting today, Microsoft Designer can now also generate text with AI. Users can choose a goal from a drop-down menu to shape the angle of the copy (such as “increase awareness” or “increase sales or bookings”) and write a quick description of what they want. The app then pulls out a selection of hashtags and captions to use in social media posts and even recommends fonts that might pair well with the project.

You can batch generate different captions and hashtags for your social media posts using Microsoft Designer’s new generative text feature.
Image: Microsoft

Microsoft has also made it easy to resize designs by providing up to 20 different social media layout sizes across Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. Elements such as text and images will automatically move to accommodate the new layout, reducing the need to fix any formatting issues.

Animation features are also introduced to jazz up the finished design, allowing users to automatically apply text transitions and animated backgrounds. Microsoft vaguely says the feature uses AI but doesn’t say whether the platform is generating animated assets from scratch, which could mean users have to supply their own. We’ve reached out to the company for clarification and will update this story if we hear back.

Additional AI-powered design tools to alter and enhance images “coming soon”

There are also some future updates “coming soon” that will further expand on Designer’s AI-powered features. A new fill tool will allow users to select an area of ​​a design and quickly place an object in that location, while brushing over a person or object with the erase tool will remove it and generate another image to replace it. Expand Background will fill in any gaps in the foreground of your design, and Change Background will switch it with an entirely new backdrop. Microsoft hasn’t provided any demonstrations to show how these features will actually work, so it’s unclear what role AI is playing. The tech giant has carefully avoided saying that any of these features will generate images from scratch.

Microsoft Designer is still in preview and doesn’t have a full release date yet. But the waiting list has been removed, so now anyone can access it and see how it stacks up against competitors like Canva and Adobe Express. As it stands, Microsoft has some catching up to do. Both Canva and Adobe have released their own suite of AI-powered features in recent weeks to make graphic design more accessible to novice users.

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