Notepad to get Copilot AI integration on Windows 11

Microsoft is now coming after Notepad as the company continues its push of AI into Windows.

Notepad with Copilot
Notepad with Copilot / Image: Mauro Huculak
  • Microsoft is updating the Notepad app to include new AI features.
  • Officially, the feature adds an option in the context menu to explain text directly into the Copilot panel.
  • Unofficially, Notepad is also expected to integrate Copilot further to help users write text, create lists, or even draft emails.

Notepad, the classic text editor that has been part of Windows since its early days, is getting Copilot integration. Starting with version 11.2401.25.0, the text editor is getting a new “Explain with Copilot” option in the context menu that helps you understand various types of content, such as logs, programming code, or any selected text. 

However, in this update, Copilot isn’t truly integrated into Notepad. Instead, it’s an option that sends a string of text directly to chatbot AI. You can also select some code, text, or logs and use the “Ctrl + E” keyboard shortcut to perform the same action. 

So, basically, this would be the same as performing a typical copy-and-paste action from Notepad to the Copilot panel.

The new feature is available with Notepad 11.2401.25.0, but it’s only available on devices enrolled in the Dev and Canary Channels.

Notepad Explain with Copilot
Notepad Explain with Copilot / Image: Mauro Huculak

In addition to the new “Explain with Copilot” option, the company may be planning to integrate Copilot even further. Previously, it has been discovered (via @PhantomOfEarth in X) a new “Cowritter” feature that allow users to experience a new level of assistance in their writing text.

The new AI feature appears in the top-right corner, and it seems that users will have different options,  including “Rewrite,” “Make shorter,” “Make longer,” “Change tone,” and “Change format.” Although the options are self-explanatory, it’s unclear how the chatbot integration will work in Notepad.

The “Change tone” menu includes six tones: neutral, formal, casual, inspirational, humorous, and even pirate. The “Change format” menu includes five options: default, paragraph, business, academic, and poetry. In addition, you will be able to access Cowriter from the context menu when text is selected. 

Notepad Cowriter context menu
Notepad Cowriter context menu / Image: @thebookisclosed

Also, it’s interesting to note that Notepad’s Cowriter will include a credit system similar to the one found in the Paint app with the Cocreator feature to create images with AI, meaning you will have a limited number of tries to use the chatbot.

Furthermore, @teroalhonen on X has discovered various system files referring to this Cowriter for Notepad, including a marketing image that shows a preview of the AI feature in action. The image shows a floating interface as the user selects some text with options to change the length, tone, and format and choose different instructions. In addition, there are options to rewrite and replace the text, among other settings.

Notepad Cowriter marketing image
Notepad Cowriter marketing image / Image: Microsoft

The interface is similar to the Copilot experience the company is working on for the Microsoft 365 apps, including Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint.

Although Notepad remained unchanged for many years, since the release of Windows 11, the company has been improving the note-taking app in many ways with a fresh interface with dark mode support, tab system, new text support, the ability to keep unsaved content even after restarting the computer, and recently, the team added a character counter. However, Microsoft appears to be taking Notepad to the next level with AI.

The software giant is already working on the next major release of Windows that will focus on integrating AI more deeply into the operating system and products, including Notepad.

Some of these new AI-powered integrations and features include enhancements for Windows Search, a new Timeline feature, automatic upscaling capabilities for videos and games, live wallpapers, and more.

As Microsoft has said, 2024 is a big year for AI on Windows. Furthermore, the company even announced that new computers will soon start shipping a new Copilot key on keyboards.

Although these are great innovations, I do share some skepticism with many other people about the many AI features coming to Windows that may end up bloating the system even more. Also, these features could pose a privacy concern and cause users to switch to another platform.

What are your thoughts about Notepad getting AI on Windows 11? Let me know in the comments below.

Update February 12, 2024: This content was updated to include the official announcements of the “Explain with Copilot” option.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].