Word and Outlook are getting a new text prediction feature which suggests the rest of a sentence and phrase as you type. It’s like an advanced form of autocomplete that appears in browsers.
As you type, the rest of a word or more will appear in light gray.
Accept the text prediction, press Tab.
Reject the prediction, press Esc or just keep typing.
In Outlook on the web it’s a little different with a ‘Tab’ tooltip.
Who gets Text Prediction?
Text Prediction is getting a gradual rollout in Word 365 and Word on the web plus Outlook 365 and Outlook on the web.
- Half of Word 365 for Windows Beta Channel users on Version 2010 Build 13301.20004 and later.
- Word on the web – All Microsoft 365 SKUs except for Microsoft 365 Business Basic, Microsoft 365 F3, Microsoft 365 A1.
- Outlook.com and Outlook on the web. For English users in North America.
- Half of Outlook for Windows Beta Channel users on Version 2010 Build 13301.20004 or later.
Test Prediction is a cloud service so there are legitimate privacy concerns. According to Microsoft:
“Your data does not leave the tenant boundary. Text predictions use a machine learning model to make suggestions based on the text you have typed in the current document or email. The content is not stored or seen by any human unless donated as part of the feedback mechanism. ”
Despite those assurances, some customers won’t want their typing to be sent to Microsoft.
Text Prediction feedback
In Outlook for Web (Microsoft 365 hosted) there’s a direct appeal for feedback below the edit window.
Otherwise, use the standard Feedback methods to let Microsoft know your opinion
Turning Text Prediction off
You can’t! There’s no way to disable Text Prediction in any of the current releases.
Microsoft’s arrogance extends to forcing customers to this intrusion on their work whether the they like it or not.
The Office Watch manager, Victor, has been seeing Text Prediction for some time in Outlook for Web and hates it.
“The predictions are usually wrong. Even when they are right, the appearance of the prediction is a distraction from my typing and thoughts. Text Prediction might be a ‘love or it hate it’ thing (a Marmite/Vegemite choice <g>) and really does need a way to turn it off. The MS Dev team are seriously out of touch if they think Text Prediction will be welcomed by all.”.
If you don’t want Text Prediction, all you can do is give polite but firm feedback to Microsoft. Make it clear the feature should be an option not a compulsory intrusion.