Microsoft Copilot (formerly Bing Chat)

Apr 25, 2024 | Copilot Hints and Tips

Microsoft Copilot was previously known as Bing Chat. It is an AI (Artificial intelligence) chatbot that helps with a huge variety of tasks from summarising information to coding, from searching for information to working with videos and pictures.

There has been a lot of talk about Microsoft Copilot over the last few months and it is important to differentiate the different versions.  Here we are talking about Microsoft Copilot not copilot for Microsoft 365 which is very different and integrates into the Microsoft 365 productivity suite including Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Teams.

How can I access Copilot?

The easiest way is to type into the address bar of your web browser but it can also be accessed from the Copilot icon when in Microsoft Edge.

Copilot icon image

What are Conversation styles?

Conversation styles help the results obtained from the chatbot to be in the right style.  There are 3 options. A conversation style is chosen before a question is asked.

  • Balanced Mode: Offers a friendly and conversational style for a wide range of topics.
  • Precise Mode: Provides informative and formal responses suitable for work-related or academic inquiries.
  • Creative Mode: Generates imaginative and creative content, perfect for writing tasks, brainstorming and more.

NOTE: Chat GPT does not have this feature.

Asking a question

Any question can be asked in the ‘Ask me Anything…’ box. The more precise the question the better the answer is likely to be. For example, we will look at 3 stages of questioning, getting more detailed as we go.

  1. A basic question could be ‘What are the best functions in Microsoft Excel?’.  This could bring up functions that are not relevant to what you are trying to do.
  2. A better question could be ‘What are the best functions in Excel to look up information from a table?’. The functions would be more relevant but how they are displayed may not be to your liking.
  3. Even more precise would be ‘What are the best Excel functions to look up data from a table?  Show the result in a table with 3 columns.  The first is the name of the function, the second is the structure of the function and the third explains what the function does.’  Now that’s more like it!!

NOTE: Images can be interrogated by adding them to the ‘Ask me anything…’ box.

Here are a few key points to be aware of with the results.

  • Copilot is not always right!!
  • You can ask follow up questions if the result isn’t exactly what you need.
  • The questions in this thread should all be relevant to each other.
  • 30 questions can be asked in a thread.
  • If you see a copy symbol at the end of a box then this can be copied and pasted into another application without selecting e.g. function examples show like this.
  • Be patient.  Some results may take a while to generate.
  • Suggestions can be used for follow up questions or to give ideas as to what is possible.

Asking another question

When you have finished asking questions about a certain topic then start a new one!

  1. Click on the New topic icon.
New topic button image

Further Reading

If you’ve enjoyed reading about Microsoft Copilot, there are some other blogs below that you might find useful:

Want to learn more about Microsoft? Then email to discuss how I can help or have a look at the Microsoft courses I run.