The New Microsoft Windows Notepad Explain with Copilot AI Feature - Windows Basics


Thursday, March 28, 2024

The New Microsoft Windows Notepad Explain with Copilot AI Feature

Have you ever found yourself staring at text in Windows Notepad and wishing you had a translator to understand it all? Microsoft has integrated its powerful AI assistant Copilot right into the Notepad app, allowing you to leverage AI to decode technical (or non-technical) text in just a few clicks.

From clarifying error messages to suggesting code improvements, here are 3 ways Copilot can enhance your Notepad experience.

1. Decode log files, error messages or code snippets

Microsoft has announced a new “Explain with Copilot” integration feature that allows Notepad to communicate with Microsoft's powerful Copilot AI assistant. Now, instead of the headache of opening error logs or indecipherable code snippets in Windows Notepad, you can highlight text, right-click, and select Explain with Copilot.

Alternatively, you can use the handy keyboard shortcut Ctrl + E. This will launch Microsoft Copilot and dock it right next to your Notepad tab. You will then be prompted for permission to send your data to the Copilot chat.

After you send a message to chat, Copilot will help you understand what's going on.

Whether you're a seasoned programmer with experience dealing with problematic system logs or a newbie struggling with scripting, Copilot can help. It's especially useful when working on systems that don't have access to advanced code editors, as Notepad remains one of the best ways to view source code and output logs.

To get started, make sure you have the latest version of Notepad installed (11.2401.25.0 or newer), as Microsoft is gradually rolling out this Copilot integration. Then, highlight your confusing text and let the AI work its magic!

2. Write and edit code faster (but don't expect an IDE)

Notepad is not designed as a full-fledged code editor. As a developer, you can access much more powerful tools like integrated development environments (IDEs) and dedicated text editors for Linux as well as other systems that are clearly built clear way to write and manage code. Things like handling different newline formats have long plagued Notepad.

However, Notepad's simplicity is also its appeal for quick edits, personal scripting projects, or simply tinkering with code snippets you find online. And now, with “Explain with Copilot,” this unassuming little text editor packs a surprising punch.

While you don't want to build your next business app in Notepad, the Copilot feature allows you to take advantage of AI-powered code suggestions, automation for repetitive tasks, and even is to create code snippets - all in Notepad's simple, familiar interface.

The author of the article tried one of PCMag's interesting programming tricks, got the code online and sent it to Copilot as above.

After Copilot explained the code snippet, the author asked if the execution was okay. The AI assistant says it should and explains how it can run the code.

Here's how it happens.

Whether you're new to coding or just need to make a quick fix without firing up the full IDE, try using Notepad's new AI assistant. Who knows, you might be surprised at what that humble app can do with the smarter Copilot.

3. Get AI-powered help with any writing (technical or not)

While code and logs are obvious use cases, Copilot's capabilities in Notepad go beyond the technical stuff. Notepad's light simplicity makes it ideal for jotting down meeting notes, drafting an outline, or jotting down thoughts as they occur.

And with Copilot's integration, that simple text editor becomes a lot more powerful. Working on a research paper or technical document? Highlight confusing passages and let the AI chatbot provide clear explanations and context. Handling legal issues in contracts? Copilot can summarize long text (but remember the 2000 character limit).

Between its unprecedented opening speed and light capacity, Notepad is always the ideal choice for quickly putting words on the screen. With Copilot's AI intelligence, it becomes a versatile text utility that can decode nearly any topic.

Copilot enhances Notepad's simplicity with the power of AI

Notepad has been a comforting constant in the growing Windows ecosystem for decades. From Windows 95 to today's Windows 11, this humble text editor remains delightfully simple - a true rarity in an age of bloated apps and feature overload.

With streamlined menus (File, Edit and View only), instant load times and a simple interface, Notepad is the app you fire up when you just need to type words on the screen quickly without fuss. complex.

And while Microsoft may have reinvented the whole thing, Copilot integration wisely retains Notepad's iconic simplicity. This AI assistant works in the background, ready to use its intelligence when needed but never intruding or changing the nature of Notepad.

The integration is completely optional, allowing Notepad to remain your trusted, lightweight note-taking companion. But with a quick shortcut, Copilot opens up powerful possibilities - decoding confusing text, suggesting code improvements, and even summarizing long documents.

It's a refreshing blend of nostalgia and innovation for longtime Windows users.

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