How to Use Copilot in PowerPoint

Copilot is an AI assistant from GitHub that suggests line completions and entire blocks of code inside Visual Studio Code. It uses techniques like natural language processing and neural networks to generate suggestions based on the code and comments you have already written.

While Copilot was designed for software developers to boost productivity when writing code, some creative folks have found ways to utilize Copilot in other applications like PowerPoint to help speed up content creation.

In this blog post, we’ll walk through step-by-step how to use Copilot to assist with PowerPoint slide creation by taking advantage of Copilot’s ability to generate text, bullet points, and even entire slides based on the content you provide.


To follow along with this tutorial, you’ll need:

GitHub is slowly rolling out access to Copilot, so you’ll need to join the waitlist if you don’t already have access.

Step 1: Open a PowerPoint Presentation in Visual Studio Code

The first step is to open your PowerPoint presentation (PPTX file) in Visual Studio Code rather than PowerPoint itself.

Visual Studio Code has much more flexibility in terms of extensions and customizations compared to PowerPoint. By opening your deck in VS Code, you can take advantage of the GitHub Copilot extension.

To open a PPTX file in Visual Studio Code:

  1. Launch Visual Studio Code
  2. Click File > Open File
  3. Navigate to your PowerPoint PPTX file and open it

You’ll notice the file contents open in a text-based XML structure rather than the graphical slide editor you’re used to in PowerPoint. This XML is how PowerPoint files are actually stored behind the scenes.

Step 2: Generate Content with Copilot Suggestions

Now that your presentation is open in VS Code, you can start using Copilot suggestions to help generate content.

The key things to leverage are:

  • Text suggestions – Copilot will suggest full sentences and paragraphs
  • Bullet points – Copilot can generate entire bulleted lists
  • Code snippets – Insert code blocks for demos
  • Slide suggestions – Copilot may suggest entire new slides

As you start typing text on a slide, use Ctrl/Cmd + Enter to insert each suggestion.

For example, on a title slide you might type:

Welcome to my presentation on

After pressing Ctrl/Cmd + Enter, Copilot may suggest:

Welcome to my presentation on improving customer retention with AI

You can keep building on the existing text to generate more content:

Welcome to my presentation on improving customer retention with AI. Today we'll be discussing ways AI can be used to 

Press Ctrl/Cmd + Enter again:

Welcome to my presentation on improving customer retention with AI. Today we'll be discussing ways AI can be used to better understand customer needs, predict churn risk, and provide personalized recommendations.

Use this flow to keep extending the text. Copilot will suggest new sentences, transitions between topics, and entire new paragraphs.

The same concept applies for generating bullet points:

Ways AI can improve customer retention:

- Predict which customers are likely to churn using machine learning models

Keep adding dashes and press Ctrl/Cmd + Enter to build out the list.

Step 3: Insert Code Blocks

In addition to text content, you can leverage Copilot to insert code blocks into your presentation for demonstrations.

For example, if you wanted to show an example machine learning model:

Start typing python and press Enter. Copilot will automatically generate a Python code block:

import pandas as pd
from sklearn.ensemble import RandomForestClassifier

# load data
df = pd.read_csv('customers.csv')

# model training
X = df[['age', 'income']] 
y = df['will_churn']
model = RandomForestClassifier(), y)

The syntax highlighting will also automatically be applied.

You can insert code blocks in any programming language using this method.

Step 4: Insert Markdown Tables

For slides with tabular data, Copilot can generate Markdown tables:

| Column 1 | Column 2 | Column 3 |
| Row 1    | Data     | More data | 

The Markdown will render nicely formatted tables when viewed in PowerPoint.

Step 5: Save the Presentation

Once you are happy with the generated content from Copilot, save the PPTX file in Visual Studio Code.

You can then open the presentation in PowerPoint to view the results graphically or present the deck.

All of the text, bullet points, code blocks, and other elements suggested by Copilot will now appear in your presentation.

If you need to make tweaks, you can roundtrip back to VS Code to leverage Copilot for additional content generation.

Recap and Next Steps

That wraps up this tutorial on using GitHub Copilot to assist with creating PowerPoint presentations!

Key takeaways:

  • Open your PPTX file in Visual Studio Code to access Copilot
  • Generate content like text, lists, and code with Copilot suggestions
  • Insert tables and other elements with Markdown formatting
  • Save your updated presentation and view/present in PowerPoint

Copilot can save a tremendous amount of time creating presentations and other documents. And it’s sure to get even smarter over time as the underlying AI models continue to advance.

To learn more about GitHub Copilot and apply for access, visit the official Copilot site.