With a Copilot Pro subscription, Microsoft 365 users can get the AI companion's help in various Microsoft apps. Outlook happens to be one of those apps, along with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.
Here's everything you need to know about using Copilot in Outlook so you can take advantage of AI in drafting emails and catching up with them.
Don't See Copilot in Outlook?
There's a chance that you might not see Copilot in Outlook despite having active Copilot Pro and Microsoft 365 Personal or Family subscriptions. That's because, unlike other apps, Copilot for Outlook has some more prerequisites surrounding it.
Firstly, Copilot for Outlook is only available for work or school accounts, and Microsoft accounts using outlook.com, hotmail.com, live.com, and msn.com email addresses currently. If you're using a third-party email provider, like Yahoo, Gmail, iCloud, etc., you won't have Copilot in Outlook.
Now, even if you are using one of the supported accounts and still don't have Copilot in Outlook, it's because you need to be using New Outlook on Windows and the latest version on Mac to use it. The Legacy version of Outlook on Mac and Classic Outlook on Windows does not support Copilot.
Additionally, you can use Copilot in Outlook on the Web.
If you still can't see Copilot in the Outlook app, try restarting the app.
Use Copilot in Outlook
Using Copilot in Outlook, you can generate summaries for emails, get help with writing drafts, and even get feedback from Copilot on emails you've written.
Copilot's abilities in Outlook are somewhat limited with Copilot Pro when compared to Copilot in Microsoft 365; it cannot help with scheduling and event planning in the former.
Drafting Emails with Copilot
With Copilot, you can get help with composing emails in Outlook, from drafting content to refining tone.
- Open the Outlook desktop or web app.
- Click on the 'New Mail' button from the 'Home' tab. You can also open a draft or reply to an ongoing conversation, depending on how you want to send the email.
- The 'Message' tab will become active. Click the 'Copilot' icon from the Message ribbon.
- From the options that appear, select 'Draft with Copilot'.
- The 'Draft with Copilot' dialog box will open. Write the prompt, i.e., a description of what you want the email to say.
- To adjust the tone and length parameters, click the 'Generation options' button in the bottom left of the dialog box. Here, you can select various tones like neutral, formal, casual, etc., and the length of the email.
- Then, click the 'Generate' button.
- Copilot will generate the email in a few seconds. You can click on the 'X' button to stop it.
- Once it generates the email, you'll have a few options at your disposal.
- If you like the draft but would like to make some changes to it, go to the 'Anything you'd like to change' text field, specify your request, and click the 'Send' button. Copilot will generate a new draft incorporating your request.
- You can compare the different versions using the '<' and '>' arrows.
- If you want an entirely new draft, click on the 'Regenerate' button instead.
- But if you like the email Copilot has drafted, click the 'Keep it' button and click the 'Discard' button if you don't want to add it to your email.
- Clicking on 'Keep It' will load the email into your compose box. Finish drafting the email and send it.
Get Email Coaching by Copilot
In addition to drafting emails from scratch, Copilot can also help you with emails you have already written. With email coaching, Copilot will analyze the mail you've written and come up with suggestions that will make it more professional. Here's how it works.
- Start composing a new mail in the Outlook app and write your email. It should be at least 100 characters long for Copilot to analyze it effectively.
- Then, click the 'Copilot' button from the ribbon and select 'Coaching by Copilot' from the drop-down options.
- Copilot will begin analyzing the content right away. Wait until it completes the analysis. The categories it reviews the email for are 'Tone', 'Reader sentiment', and 'Clarity'.
- Then, depending on the draft, it will highlight what it thinks is the issue in each category and provide a suggestion that could help you rectify it.
If you like the suggestions, you can manually include them in your email.
Summarizing Email Threads with Copilot
If you have a lot of emails to catch up on, Copilot can be your best ally. It can quickly generate summaries and key points for emails and email threads, so you don't have to go through each mail in the conversation individually.
- Open the email or conversation that you want to summarize in Outlook.
- In the reading pane, click on the 'Summary by Copilot' or 'Summarize' button.
- Wait for Copilot to generate the summary and key points.
- The summary will appear at the top of the email thread.
- It might also include citations so you can go to the corresponding thread in the conversation directly from the summary. This way, you can verify the information that Copilot produces without relying on it blindly.
By integrating AI capabilities directly into Outlook, Microsoft is paving the way for a smarter, more intuitive email experience. Whether you're a busy professional or someone looking to streamline their digital communication, Copilot in Outlook offers a compelling suite of tools to enhance productivity and simplify your email routine.