Microsoft’s AI-powered design tool, Designer, is now available in public preview with a range of new features. Similar to Canva, the web app generates designs for posters, digital postcards, presentations, graphics, and more, leveraging user-created content and OpenAI’s text-to-image AI, DALL-E 2. The tool features dropdowns and text boxes that allow for customization and personalization.
Designer has improved its AI models since its announcement in October, allowing the tool to create written captions and hashtags relevant to social media posts, offering several suggestions for users to choose from. In addition, the tool can now create animated visuals with backgrounds and text transitions.
Microsoft plans to add more editing features to Designer in the future, such as the ability to place an object in a specific spot in a graphic and automatically fill in the rest of the picture. There will also be “erase” and “replace background” options, allowing users to brush over objects, people, or backdrops that were not intended to be in a graphic.
During the preview period, Designer will remain free and accessible through the Designer website and Microsoft’s Edge browser sidebar. After the preview, the app will be included in Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscriptions, with some free functionality for non-subscribers.
In response to legal questions surrounding AI-powered image generation systems, Microsoft has stated that users will have “full” usage rights to commercialize the images they create with Designer and Image Creator. However, given ongoing court battles involving OpenAI and other startups commercializing generative AI tools, Microsoft’s stance may change in the future.