How Windows Copilot Can Be Used To Maximize Productivity

How Windows Copilot Can Be Used To Maximize ProductivityHow Windows Copilot Can Be Used To Maximize Productivity

Key Points

  • Copilot is Microsoft’s AI-enabled assistant, which uses the GPT-4 language model, capable of composing text and code, AI-created images, launching an app, and managing (limited) Windows settings.

Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) is gradually gaining popularity in different sectors of the industry. Writers, developers, designers, and people from different professions are using AI to increase their productivity and transfer the burden of hours of labor onto the automated assistant.

One of the leading AI company’s models, the ChatGPT 4, has made its way to several Microsoft products, including Windows, Microsoft Edge, Skype, Paint, and some others. The most innovative of these integrations is done on Windows, called the “Windows Copilot.” I say this because Copilot is not only able to answer your questions based on the information fed from the internet, but also perform system-related tasks.

That said, many of us are still not used to change and therefore avoid using Copilot on Windows; perhaps because we are afraid of it becoming sentinel. However, if you knew what could be achieved with Copilot, you just may start using it.

This guide is going to show you how to use all the AI integrations available on a Windows computer, including the standalone Copilot and other features available inside applications.

What is Copilot in Windows

Copilot is a Microsoft product, which is an AI-enabled assistant, or AI chatbot, integrated into the Windows operating system. Initially only available in Windows 11, it is now also making its way to Windows 10. Its purpose is to “enhance creativity and productivity” for the end users.

In layman’s words, Copilot can be used to get answers from the internet. It can fetch information across the world wide web and accumulate the information for you. It is also able to provide opinions on it based on facts. Additionally, if prompted correctly, it can also act like people from different professionals, such as a developer, or a designer, and creatively perform tasks for you that would otherwise take hours to perform.

On Windows 11, you can open the Copilot by pressing the Windows Key + C shortcut keys or clicking the Copilot button pinned in the taskbar.

Capabilities of Windows Copilot

When you launch Copilot, you will be asked how you want it to perform. You will have the following options to choose from, which are technically known as “Copilot modes“:

  • More creative
  • More balanced
  • More precise

The first option allows Copilot to bring out its creative side and generate elements more intuitively. The “More precise” options make Copilot oblivious to opinions and state facts. This allows it to perform very specific tasks, and become analytical. The middle option, which is “More balanced,” indulges both the creative and the precise sides of artificial intelligence.

Note: After performing a task with Copilot, you are presented with more, similar prompts that you can click on.

The following are all the things that you can achieve with Copilot in Windows.

Generate text

Copilot is excellent at composing new text. You can prompt is to write you poems, cover letters, or an email to your boss. Additionally, you can even provide text and ask it to analyze the provided data and summarize or describe it as well. You may even provide your own topics and Copilot will write on it according to your specified needs and requirements.

In the example below, I asked Copilot to act like a specific character and then perform a task. Here is what it responded with:

Copilot acts like an italian mafia boss
Copilot acts like an Italian mafia boss

As you can observe from the response, Copilot creatively included that it was not a good idea to perform that task, as it could have implications. However, it then precisely did what I asked it to do, which is to compose text while portraying a character. For this prompt, I used the “More balanced” mode.

Moreover, developers can make Copilot write customized code in any programming language of their choosing. This will not only save them hours of writing code lines but also enable fresh developers to expedite the learning curve.

Generate AI images

Not only can you create unplagiarized text with Copilot, but you can create images simply by using your words. It uses OpenAI’s DALL.E, which is an AI-enabled text-to-speech image creator.

All you need to do is precisely describe what you want the image to be of, and Copilot will generate 4 images with that description for you to choose from.

Here is an example of where I prompted Windows Copilot to generate an image of a leprechaun dancing around a tree made of candy:

Create images with Windows Copilot
Create images with Windows Copilot

You can then pick from the 4 options, or click “Get more relevant responses” to prompt Copilot to create more, similar images, that will be different from the ones already generated.

Reverse image search

Not only can Copilot generate images from scratch, but it can also perform reverse image research. However, unlike Google, it cannot show similar images on the web. Instead, it can do something even better.

You can include prompts alongside images and ask Copilot questions about it, like where the image first appeared, and ask it to explain the image.

Image search with Copilot
Image search with Copilot

Change Windows settings

I mentioned earlier that Windows Copilot is considered superior to other integrations of AI by Microsoft because of its capabilities to perform system-specific tasks. Managing Windows settings was precisely what I was talking about.

Copilot cannot perform every Windows function with a single-line instruction, and its capabilities are pretty limited. However, the following is what it can do:

  • Start or stop the focus session.
  • Enable or disable the do not disturb.
  • Turn the Bluetooth on or off.
  • Toggle the dark mode
  • Adjust the volume level.
  • Mute volume.
  • Change the wallpaper.
  • Snap windows.
  • Manage connected devices.
  • Take a screenshot.

Should Copilot be unable to finish an assignment, you will still receive a step-by-step guide on how to perform the task yourself. In some cases, you may be asked to perform an additional step. For example, when I asked Copilot to switch the computer’s theme to light mode (from dark mode), it asked me whether I’d like to disable dark mode, and gave me two options to choose from: yes and no. Upon clicking “yes”, it changed the computer’s theme to light.

Manage Windows settings with Copilot
Manage Windows settings with Copilot

Launch an app or program

Instead of navigating various folders and the Start menu, you can simply ask Copilot to launch an application that is installed on your computer. Once you ask it, it will reconfirm the action by you, and upon clicking “yes,” the app will launch.

Open an app with Copilot
Open an app with Copilot

Copilot can not only open the apps but also provide guidelines on using the app, or provide troubleshooting tips.

Unfortunately, Copilot cannot yet close or terminate an app. If you ask it to close an app, it will instruct you on how to do it and apologize for its incapability.

Summarize web pages

Instead of going through lengthy posts and articles, you can ask Copilot to summarize the content for you. You do not need to provide the content of the page. Instead, simply provide the link to the page you want it to summarize, and it will look up its content and provide a summary for you.

Additionally, it will also suggest further action about the contents inside the summary, in case you want to learn more.

Summarize web pages with Copilot
Summarize web pages with Copilot

Prompt Copilot with voice

Instead of typing out your prompts and instructing Copilot to perform a task, you can simply use your voice to do it. Windows will use voice-to-text to convert the audio to text and put it into Copilot. The Copilot will then perform the instructions as prompted.

To use your voice to prompt Copilot, click on the microphone icon in Copilot, and begin recording your prompt into your device’s microphone.

Use voice control with Copilot
Use voice control with Copilot

What Copilot can do on Microsoft Edge

Previously known as “Bing Copilot,” the integrated AI assistant in Microsoft Edge is now also COpilot with similar capabilities to that of Windows Copilot. Although it cannot perform system-specific tasks, it can perform other Edge-related tasks.

Here are a few things you can do with Copilot in Edge to increase your productivity.

Compose text

Like the Copilot on Windows, you can use the Edge Copilot to generate text using the dedicated “Compose” tab. This tab gives you more control over the type of content that you want to write. You can choose from predefined tones of the text, depending on whom you are writing to or for.

Additionally, you can also define the format of the text and its length.

Compose precise text using Copilot on Edge
Compose precise text using Copilot on Edge

All you need to do is explain what you want Copilot to write about in the text field, define the remaining variables, and it will generate the text for you.

For example, you can write about “Informing the boss at work about planned leaves I need on specific dates,” select the tone of the text as “Professional,” and select the format to be Email. Copilot will then write a detailed, formatted email, informing your boss of your upcoming planned leaves. Of course, it will include some variables that you will need to edit manually, such as your name, your boss’s name, and the dates of the leave you plan on taking up.

Group tabs

Copilot can smartly organize your open tabs according to their similar content. This feature is very helpful when you have your hands full with many open tabs and are having difficulty browsing across them.

All you must do is type in “Organize my tabs,” and Copilot will manage your open tabs and display the possible groups. If you are okay with the grouping, simply click “Group tabs.”

Group tabs in Edge with Copilot
Group tabs in Edge with Copilot

You can also use the prompt “Turn on vertical tabs” to enable vertical tabs in Edge.

Enable vertical tabs in Edge with Copilot
Enable vertical tabs in Edge with Copilot

Create AI images and remove/blur backgrounds with Paint and Photos app

Artificial Intelligence has also been integrated into the Microsoft Paint and Photos app. These apps can also be used to perform some tasks that Copilot is capable of.

For example, you can create AI images with the Microsoft Paint app. Paint uses the DALL.E AI tool to create AI images prompted by the text you put in.

Similarly, you can use the Photos app to blur out or remove the background of a picture.

Takeaway

AI has come a long way in the last decade and has finally started making its way to consumer products. Microsoft is way ahead of many of its competitors to include AI, and at the time of writing this post, perhaps the only OS manufacturer to include it.

Copilot can most likely be the element that converts macOS and Linux users to Windows, as it offers great convenience and enhanced productivity.

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Subhan Zafar is an established IT professional with interests in Windows and Server infrastructure testing and research, and is currently working with Itechtics as a research consultant. He has studied Electrical Engineering and is also certified by Huawei (HCNA & HCNP Routing and Switching).

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