SharePoint Online – Simpler Authoring

Microsoft recently announced some exciting updates to SharePoint which are going to be released this year. These will not only give users the ability to create better content more easily but automatically align to the organisational brand.

The upcoming updates are based around four key areas, listed below, with this blog concentrating on the first topic, Simpler Authoring.

  1. Simpler Authoring – the ability of using natural language and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create and author SharePoint sites/pages with Copilot in SharePoint and co-authoring of pages with team members.
  2. Compelling Content – A major update on branding and theming within SharePoint including animations and motions to create engaging and compelling sites and pages.
  3. Deeper engagement – more integrations of SharePoint into other products; Outlook, Teams and Microsoft Viva.
  4. Flexible platform – continuing investment by Microsoft in the SharePoint Framework (SPFx) and Microsoft Graph so that existing solutions will still continue to work as Microsoft update the user interface and experience.

Simpler Authoring

This has been described by Microsoft as the “biggest step in the 22 year history of the product” ! It will completely re-invent how sites, pages and content are created and edited within SharePoint by leveraging AI.

Copilot in SharePoint

This will allow users to create a pages or even a sites using your data by accessing Microsoft Graph endpoints and using the power of Large Language Models (LLMs). These pages and sites will be created using best practises and use compelling designs which the users can then edit and refine which then drastically reduces the initially time for content creation but also giving the user full control of the content that is on the page or within the site. The two videos below demonstrate how powerful Copilot in SharePoint is when creating a site and then a page using pre-existing content.

Using Copilot in SharePoint to create an employee onboarding site using content from a PowerPoint presentation.
Create a SharePoint page from the contents of a Word document and then using Copilot for SharePoint to assist in editing it.

SharePoint Start

The SharePoint Start page will be revamped giving users easy access to create new content using new feature templates which are most commonly used within your team or organisation. Additionally, with these updates users will be able to access previously created, including draft versions, of documents and content (i.e. posts) as well as getting useful analytics on their own content and documents. Microsoft are promoting the SharePoint Start page the go to place for users to easily access and find previously created content and documents as well creating the new video page in addition to creating sites and pages using Copilot.

Co-authoring SharePoint pages

No longer will pages only be editable by a single user but by multiple users. This will allow users to edit them similar to the way that co-authoring works currently when editing Office documents. Microsoft are also introducing the ability for editors to comment inline on pages. So authors can review and amend content based on other editor comments. These updates will slicken the process of intranet page creation and truly make it a team effort.

Page sharing is also being introduced aligning it with the feature that is available for documents within SharePoint so that users can easily share pages just like they do with documents.

These product updates and features will be rolling out in 2023 and early next year based on the Microsoft roadmap below:

Roadmap for Simpler Authoring

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