How to use Microsoft Designer to create graphics

Microsoft Designer is an online graphic design application that uses AI to create social media images, banners, logos, signs, flyers, and more with minimal effort.

Microsoft Designer
Microsoft Designer

Microsoft Designer is a tool that allows you to create professional designs for various purposes, but it has been designed primarily to share graphics on social media and other channels.

It is a web-based application that you can access through a browser (but you can also install it as an app on Windows 11), and it offers a wide range of design templates and tools. However, Microsoft Designer integrates with DALL-E 2.5 from OpenAI, which can translate text into images, but in this case, into graphics, posters, and presentations.

Furthermore, the Designer app can offer suggestions, generate captions and hashtags, create animated visuals, backgrounds, text transitions, and more.

In this guide, you will learn the basic steps to get started with Microsoft Designer on Windows 11, 10, macOS, or Linux.

Get started using Microsoft Designer

To use Microsoft Designer to create graphics, use these steps:

  1. You first have to open the Designer page and click the “Try Designer for free” button to sign in with your Microsoft account.

    Microsoft Designer signup

    Quick note: During the preview trial, the app is free for anyone, but eventually, it’ll become available as a free addition for Microsoft 365 subscribers.
  2. In the web app, you will find a chatbot prompt box where you can use AI to generate templates based on your description. On the right side, you will a list of templates you can select to get started understanding how to request the app to generate an image. For example, selecting one of the templates inserted the “a thumbnail for my YouTube video offering tips on sustainable living” prompt.

    Microsoft Designer generate design project

  3. You can also use the “Add image” option to upload images that the tool can use to generate a new design.

  4. The “Generate image” option is a separate feature that uses the DALL-E 2.5 model from OpenAI to generate images from a text description. You can then select one of the AI-generated images the Designer can use to create graphic suggestions.

    Designer AI image creator

  5. Once you are ready to start with the app, describe your design, click the Generate button, select the template suggestion from the right side, and click the Customize button.

    Microsoft Designer customize

  6. If you want to create an image manually from scratch, you will have to use the “blank canvas” option at the bottom of the page.

  7. The Microsoft Designer app is divided into three sections. The toolbar at the top includes some basic options to zoom, undo and redo steps, start a new design or resize the current project, and download the project.

    Microsoft Designer toolbar

  8. On the left, you will find the tools you will use to edit and create your image. The “Templates” tab includes every design template available with Microsoft Designer.

    Microsoft Designer templates

    Quick note: If you are using an AI-generated template, you won’t be using this option.
  9. The “My media” tab allows you to upload images from your computer or other services, such as Dropbox, Google Photos, Google Drive, and OneDrive, and from your phone. You can drag and drop the file directly if you’re uploading an image from your computer.

    Microsoft Designer upload

  10. The “Visuals” tab includes AI-curated images to add to your project. You can also add different types of shapes, videos, and other types of illustrations. You can use the search or tabs at the top to find the visual you want to use in your project. The “Generate” tab allows you to use AI to create images you add to your design.

    Microsoft Designer visuals

  11. The “Text” tab includes various styles of text that you can use for heading, subheading, and body text. You can also use the chatbot to generate rich text for a description, catchy title, etc.

    Microsoft Designer font styles

  12. On the right side, you have the “Ideas” panel that shows additional templates you can use related to your project. The “New ideas” button brings you back to the start to create a new design.

    Designer new ideas with AI

  13. While editing or creating an image, when selecting an element, a floating toolbar will appear with the different options you can use for that particular element. Some of the options include the ability to change the opacity, change the layer position (front, forward, back, and backward), color, text style, cropping tool, effects, and more.

    Designer editing tools

  14. Once you are done creating the image, click the “Download” button, choose the file type (such as “.png,” “.jpg,” or “.pdf”), check the “Remove watermark,” and click the “Download” button to save the image on your computer. You also have convenient options to share the image on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

    Microsoft Designer download project

Although this is an excellent tool for beginners and content creators to create various types of graphics, it’s not meant to be a replacement for Photoshop and many other tools that provide many different functionalities and capabilities.

The idea of the Microsoft Designer app is to use AI tools to automate the creation process as much as possible to stay more productive when you don’t have a graphics designer on speed dial.

Microsoft Designer on Edge
Microsoft Designer on Edge

If you use Microsoft Edge, you can access Designer from the sidebar (Discover). When you open the experience, you can select from one of the available templates or use AI to generate different recommendations. Clicking the “Customize” button will bring up an overlay interface where you can edit and download your design.

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 15 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 21 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].