Insider Fast: Editor – A new digital writing assistant

Hi Insiders –

My name is Alfredo, and I’m a program manager on the Natural Language Experiences Team.

If you receive builds of Office 2016 for Windows through the new Office Insider Fast level, you now have access to new Editor feature, which offers improved proofing tools in Word 2016 and Outlook 2016. The features described below are available in build 16.0.7409.1000 or later.

  • First, we’ve expanded upon Word’s current spelling and grammar tools to inform you why words or phrases may not be accurate—teaching at the same time it is correcting.
  • Second, we’ve overhauled Word’s visual proofing cues so you can distinguish at a glance between edits for spelling (red squiggle), grammar (blue double underline) or writing style (gold dotted line). Since Outlook uses Word as an email editor, you’ll see these new tools in email messages, too.

What's new?

  • Improved proofing and editor tools. Leveraging machine learning and natural language processing—mixed with input from our own team of linguists—Editor makes suggestions to help you improve your writing.

  • Red squiggle for spelling errors: Editor uses visual cues to distinguish between edits for spelling (red squiggle), grammar (blue double underline) and writing style (gold dotted line). When you see a red squiggle below a word, right-click on the word and choose one of the suggestions to fix the error. Spelling suggestions have synonyms to help disambiguate between the choices. Choose the most appropriate suggestion to correct the spelling.

  • Blue underline for grammatical errors: Word checks for potential grammatical errors as you type and indicates the error with two blue underlines. When you see two blue underlines below a word or a phrase, right click on the word or phrase and choose one of the suggestions to fix it.

  • Gold dotted line for style: Word checks for potential writing and style issues and indicates the word or phrase with a dotted gold underline. When you see a gold dotted line below a word, right click on the word or phrase and consider one of the alternative suggestions to correct the writing style issue. To customize your style options, Click File > Options > Proofing. In the Writing Style drop-down, make sure Grammar & more is selected, and then click the Settings button.


Things to keep in mind

  • You need to be an Office 365 subscriber on the Fast level to use this feature.
  • Editor adds a new Grammar & More option to the Writing style list. To use this option today, your proofing language must be set to English. Similarly, you'll see the new gold dotted line for identifying style issues only if you're proofing English text. We'll enable support for additional proofing languages in the upcoming months.
  • In Word, if you don’t see gold dotted lines in your document, it may be because you’ve customized style options in the past. To fix this issue, click File >Options >Proofing. With Grammar & more selected, click Settings >Reset All.
  • In Outlook, to see the blue underline and the gold dotted line, you need to turn on Mark grammar errors as you type. To do so, on an email, choose the File tab > Options >Mail > Editor Options >Proofing. Under When correcting spelling in Outlook select Mark grammar errors as you type.
  • By popular demand, you now have right-click access to AutoCorrect Options!


As a cloud-based service, Editor will get better with time so be sure to let us know what’s working and where we might improve. Thanks for taking a look!


Alfredo 

** Updated 10/13/16 to clarify proofing language availability**

 

Discussion Info


Last updated September 5, 2018 Views 1,514 Applies to:

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We can confirm that the new Editor feature, which includes style checking options, is a new feature rolling out to subscribers. We recognize that the style checking portions of the Editor feature offer similar capabilities to some features not included in Office 2016, but were included in the prior version. We hear your feedback as this might be an exception to our general policy and though we can’t comment on future plans for the rollout of Office features, we can tell you that the original style checking options were not included in Office 2016 due to very low usage of the feature. Thanks for the feedback.

Alfredo:

Does this feature bring back the grammar checking features that were "accidentally" forgotten in the 2016 General Availability release last year?  Many people have been anxiously awaiting an update to fix this defect.

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When things are bad, you can either:
- cuss,
- cry or
- laugh ...

Why not choose to laugh

Hi Alfredo:

It's me again.  I just saw this

<snip https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Fixes-or-workarounds-for-recent-issues-in-Word-for-Windows-bf6bf17c-2807-4871-83ce-e337ae8f0b86?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US >

The Grammar & Writing Style option is missing in Word 2016 [FIXED]

When accessing the File > Options > Proofing > When correcting spelling and grammar in Word > Writing Style menu option in Word 2016, Grammar & Style is missing.

Grammar & Style has been replaced by Grammar & more. Grammar & more is now part of Editor, which is available only to Office 365 subscribers – learn more about Editor on this thread.

We can confirm that the new Editor feature, which includes style checking options, is a new feature now rolling out to subscribers, not just Insiders. We recognize that the style checking portions of the Editor feature offer similar capabilities to some features not included in Office 2016, but were included in the prior version. We hear your feedback as this might be an exception to our general policy and though we can’t comment on future plans for the rollout of Office features, we can tell you that the original style checking options were not included in Office 2016 due to very low usage of the feature. Thanks for the feedback.

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</snip>

THAT IS NO FIX!

So MS corporate IS saying that your tool is a replacement for the missing Grammar checks in Word 2016.

Now, I'd like to know how your tool ties into Word 2016.  Is it a stand alone tool, with it's own icon on the Start menu, or is it a feature integrated into Word, like Word Art and the Equation Editor?

Frankly I don't believe that second last sentence.  Not enough people are using grammar checking? Right! And I have a bridge in Brooklyn I would be happy to sell them.

And finally, I am very miffed that this "new feature" is limited to 365 subscribers.  It is not a new feature, it is just an existing feature that they renamed. A new shell on an existing feature. Not exactly the same, but in a similar vein as the ribbon was just a new shell replacing the menu to access the same underlying features.

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****** ****** ******** ******** ******* ******* ******
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When things are bad, you can either:
- cuss,
- cry or
- laugh ...

Why not choose to laugh

File >Options

Go to Proofing and scroll down to the section "When correcting spelling and grammar in word"

You can either switch between Grammar & More or just Grammar. Or you can turn things on of off. Or if you go to Settings, you can customise exactly what you want or do not want.

Personally, I like all the various flags - it forces me to focus and think about what I have written, even if I do not agree with the suggestion. 

I survive on a diet of Rum and OneNote. I think I have a problem....
We value users’ feedback, and are pleased to announce that we’re planning to enable the style options in Grammar checking for Office 2016 users this winter – stay tuned for updates on availability. The Editor feature, which includes new style options and other ongoing enhancements to the experience, will continue to be exclusively offered through an Office 365 subscription.

Alfredo:

Mainly just words of encouragement here. I like the new functionality so far, even when I occasionally disagree with the recommendations (as I also do with human proof-readers). Please keep up the good work and keep the improvements coming. I am glad to see that users are offering suggestions.

As an aside, I note that most of the criticisms here seem to relate to differences in subscription and nonsubscription versions of Word, which is a marketing, rather than technical, issue. Personally, I moved to a subscription a couple years ago and feel I have received good value so far. I add, though, that I will always remain a little leery of software subscription models, for fear of becoming too reliant and captive to the software, making me vulnerable to unwarranted price increases—either gradual or sudden. Therefore, I try to keep aware of what my software options are and maintain a flexibility to shift platforms.

Anyway, thanks for the upgraded grammar tools!

How can I turn this off? Many of the suggestions are not stylistically advantageous, and the superfluous squiggly lines are very distracting.

Alfedo,

Regarding the feature "Spelling suggestions have synonyms to help disambiguate between the choices. Choose the most appropriate suggestion to correct the spelling." ; it would be of great use to me to be able to suppress (not display) the synonyms since they clutter the right-click context menu and inhibit my ability to quickly auto-correct misspelled words due to poor typing skills rather than a lack of language proficiency.  Please provide support to optimize the writing environment for people already proficient with language.   Thanks.

Does anyone know if this feature will be available to non 365 users? Thank you.

... we can tell you that the original style checking options were not included in Office 2016 due to very low usage of the feature...

Really, Alfredo? Microsoft expects us to believe this out and out lie? Very low usage? What, pray tell, was the demographic you were using?? The style checking (grammar and proofing) was/is one of the MOST used of all of Word's features. You took it away because you wanted to force customers into a subscription. And while I'm on that subject, where is my update (Editor), whatever, that gives me this feature??? I'm an Office 365 ProPlus subscriber and I still can't get the update! My subscription won't update - it says it has the most recent - even when I manually update it. Like MOST users of Word/Office, grammar & style checking is essential and I must have it back - or I will take my business (as will my friends and family) elsewhere!

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