Video editing and audio recording are coming to Microsoft Office apps

The company is also using AI to make more suggestions.

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Microsoft Word on a Surface Laptop in a collaborative work environment
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Microsoft is boosting Office with some (arguably overdue) media creation tools. As part of a sweeping set of updates, the company is adding Clipchamp video editing to the Office suite. The recently acquired web-based tool helps you make "professional-looking" clips regardless of your skills. You can produce videos for your other Office projects, of course, but Microsoft also sees Clipchamp as a straightforward editing tool for personal footage.

It will also be much easier to add that professional sheen to your PowerPoint presentations. Microsoft is adding a "recording studio" to PowerPoint that lets you capture audio for those moments when you can't (or just don't want to) present live. You can annotate slides, customize the background and pick the view that will best help you record. When you're done, you can preview the presentation and re-record as much as necessary. Be patient for this feature, though, as Microsoft only expects it to become "generally available" in early 2022.

Other updates are subtler, but could be just as helpful in the right circumstances. Microsoft is trotting out Context IQ, a set of AI "experiences" for Microsoft 365 that will initially make situationally-aware recommendations in Editor. It will suggest relevant contacts when you want to tag people, for instance, or recommend meeting times when everyone is available.

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Developers will also have a better reason to try Excel. Microsoft is introducing a JavaScript framework in the spreadsheet app that lets you create custom data types and functions using the web-based language. JavaScript will be available later in November in preview form. Many (if not most) Excel users won't have much need for this, but it could be valuable if your job revolves around data.

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