Microsoft is currently rolling out a new “Explain with Copilot” feature for the Windows 11 Notepad. It’s joined by improvements to screenshot annotation in the Snipping Tool. These new features are exclusive to Windows 11 Insiders and will be available to everyone at a later date.
Right-clicking highlighted text in Notepad now reveals an “Explain with Copilot” option. After selecting “Explain with Copilot,” the Copilot AI sidebar will appear onscreen with a quick breakdown of whatever you’ve highlighted. While this may seem like an excessive addition for Notepad, it should help users navigate LOG files and code snippets that are difficult to edit in other applications. It may also come in handy when writing web files in Notepad.
Microsoft says that some users will not see the “Explain with Copilot” option. This is a known bug that seemingly resolves itself. In any case, if you need speedy access to “Explain with Copilot,” simply press Ctrl + E after highlighting a portion of text in Notepad.
Windows Insiders can also test a new “shapes” function in the Windows 11 Snipping Tool. After capturing a screenshot, Snipping Tool will allow you to create circles, arrows, rectangles, and other precise shapes for image annotation. It’s a major step up from the Snipping Tool’s rudimentary drawing function, which is more of a doodle tool than anything. Of course, Windows 10’s Snip & Sketch tool has always had a shapes tool, but Microsoft doesn’t include Snip & Sketch in Windows 11.
Microsoft has also announced Insider Preview Build 26052, which introduces the ability to join Wi-Fi networks from your Camera. Just scan a QR code that contains the Wi-Fi network’s information, and you’re good to go. There are also several Copilot tweaks in the new Insider Preview Build. And, because the Canary and Dev channels currently share the 26052 build number, now’s a rare opportunity for Canary users to switch over to the Dev channel.
The new Notepad and Snipping Tool features are only available to Windows 11 Insiders. These features will roll out to all Windows 11 users in a future update.