Today, Microsoft Designer, the AI-powered design tool from Microsoft, has launched in public preview with a rich set of features.
Announced in October, Designer is a Canva-like web app that can generate designs for presentations, posters, digital postcards, invitations, graphics, and more to share on social media and other channels. It uses user-created content and DALL-E 2, OpenAI’s text-to-image AI, to come up with designs, with drop-downs and text boxes for further customization and personalization.
“Since October, AI models have been steadily improving, and we’ve been working to weave these powerful capabilities into the Designer canvas in even more beautiful ways, while keeping you in control,” wrote Bryan Rognier, GM at Microsoft’s 365 Consumer division. , in a blog post published today.
Designer can now generate written captions and hashtags relevant to social media posts, and offers several suggestions for users to choose from. It can also create animated images, complete with backgrounds and text transitions, powered by AI.
In the future, Designer will get additional editing features, Microsoft says, including the ability to place an object in a specific spot in an image and automatically fill in the rest of an image. In the meantime, future “erase” and “replace background” options will allow users to brush off objects, people, or backgrounds they didn’t want included in an image.
Designer will remain free during the preview period, Microsoft says – it’s available from the Designer website and in Microsoft’s Edge browser via the sidebar. Once the Designer app is generally available, it will be included in Microsoft 365 Personal and Family plans and will have “some” functionality free to use for non-subscribers, though Microsoft hasn’t elaborated further.
To address some of the legal questions recently raised around AI-powered image generation systems, Microsoft says users will have “full” use rights to commercialize the images they create with Designer and Image Creator. However, it’s unclear if that could change in the future given the ongoing litigation involving OpenAI and other startups bringing generative AI tools to market.