A cursor right-clicking on a photo to open a dropdown menu of options, one of which is content credentials.

Building trust with content credentials in Microsoft Designer

december 4, 2023

As AI evolves, it’s becoming more important for people to be able to trace the origin of images to understand what’s original and what has been modified.

That’s where Content Credentials come in.

What are content credentials?

Content credentials are data that’s attached to a piece of content, like an image. People consuming that piece of content can review the content credentials to understand the origin of the content.

An AI-generated image of a fox in a forest and the prompt that created it

Content Credentials is the system that provides the content credential data.

The origin of content credentials

Microsoft, in partnership with the BBC, CBC/Radio-Canada, and The New York Times, established Project Origin to create a media provenance tracking process. In addition, the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA) was formed to bring together the Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI) (led by Adobe) and Project Origin.

From these joint efforts, new standards are being developed and implemented to tackle online disinformation and address the prevalence of misleading information online.

How content credentials help build trust

Content credentials help people verify the content they’re looking at, but content credentials are also helpful for content creators and publishers, too. Content credentials help content creators like artists, social media influencers, and journalists build trust by sharing information about the content they’re producing. Content publishers like news media organizations, social media platforms, and content distribution networks can use content credentials to have better information when deciding about what content to trust.

And everyone can have more confidence about the content they’re consuming, whether on social media, in the news, or in other digital formats. That’s why content credentials are a new option in Designer.

Content credentials available when using Designer

When you create a design in Designer you can also decide if you’d like to include basic, trustworthy facts about the origin of the design or the digital content you’ve used in the design with the file.

Here are some examples of content credentials that can be attached to a design:

Edits and activity

  • Used AI to remove/erase, fill, expand, or blur the content area
  • Adjusted properties like tone, saturation, contrast, shadows, or highlights
  • Used tools like filters, styles, or effects to change appearance
  • Changed size, position, orientation, or direction

How to set content credentials in Designer

It’s up to you whether to include content credentials with your design. By default, content credentials won’t be included with your design, but including them can help build trust with your audience and help provide more information to people consuming your content. To include content credentials, select Download, then select Manage content credentials.

A screenshot within the Designer app of a completed design next to a box with a "Download" button.

Then, on the next screen, select Embed in file in the drop-down menu, then check or uncheck specific content credentials as you see fit.

A screenshot within the Designer app of a completed design and the next screen of the download box, which asks if the user wants additional content credentials applied to the design.

Updating content credentials

If you’ve chosen to embed content credentials in a design file, the content credentials will be available with that specific file when it’s shared or published online. To update content credentials, open the design in Designer, go to the Manage content credentials screen for the design, make your changes, and then download or share the file. Be sure to remove the old file and replace it with your new file.

Content credentials may not always be available to others

Some websites, social media platforms, and other sites or services may remove the content credentials from your design file when you share or upload it. This means that in some cases people consuming your design won’t be able to see your content credentials. Even so, Microsoft recommends including content credentials with your designs to build trust and transparency.

Learn more about content credentials

Get more info at the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity.