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Using ChatGPT Plus: From web browsing to plugins

ChatGPT Plus window introduction on a laptop
Maria Diaz/ZDNET

You signed up for ChatGPT Plus to get more out of the artifical intelligence (AI) chatbot, but what's next? Advanced Data Analysis, image generation with DALL-E 3, Plugins, Browse with Bing -- learning how to use these tools can be a daunting prospect. We'll walk you through how to get started using all the benefits of a Plus subscription. 

Also: How to use ChatGPT

After using ChatGPT daily for a few months, I took the leap to upgrade to a ChatGPT Plus subscription. The upgrade sets me back $20 a month, but since I use it multiple times a day for work and many, many other things, it was worth it.

How to use ChatGPT Plus

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ChatGPT Plus is easy to use and OpenAI has made it even easier by combining many tools into GPT-4. To use ChatGPT Plus, you'll need a Plus subscription. To upgrade to ChatGPT Plus, you can log in to your OpenAI account and click on Upgrade on the lower left corner of the screen.

Also: GPT-3.5 vs GPT-4: Is ChatGPT Plus worth its subscription fee?

Navigate the table of contents on the left of this page if you're looking for a specific feature. 

Using GPT-4: Web browsing, DALL-E 3, and data analysis

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A ChatGPT Plus subscription gives you access to GPT-4, which is the same model powering Microsoft's Bing AI. GPT-4 is OpenAI's most capable model yet and is also the largest large language model (LLM) to be widely available. OpenAI recently combined many of GPT-4's features into one model, so any time Plus users select GPT-4, they have access to image and data analysis, web browsing, and image generation powered by DALL-E 3. 

Once you upgrade to ChatGPT Plus, log in to your OpenAI account as usual.

Log in to ChatGPT
Screenshot by Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Click on the top left to switch between models from the default GPT-3.5 to GPT-4 on the ChatGPT window.

The ChatGPT Plus window will look slightly different than free ChatGPT. You'll see a dropdown at the top left where you can choose GPT-3.5, the model behind the free version of the AI chatbot, GPT-4 with browsing, DALL-E, and analysis, or Plugins. GPT-3.5 is fast, but GPT-4 is more thorough and accurate. 

Switch to GPT-4
Screenshot by Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Now, start asking away. You can try different prompts to test how GPT-4 performs versus GPT-3.5, take advantage of the more capable model to write code, or give it some text to summarize for you.

Write a clear prompt
Screenshot by Maria Diaz/ZDNET

GPT-4: Attaching images and files

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ChatGPT Plus can process images and files on all platforms: web, iOS, and Android. ChatGPT Plus' Code Interpreter has been renamed to Advanced Data Analysis, which is an OpenAI plugin that lets users upload files to create and interpret code, analyze data, and more. Image and file analysis is now folded into GPT-4 and available for Plus subscribers. 

Image and file upload is only available within GPT-4, so you must select this model to upload.

Select GPT-4
Screenshot by Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Click or tap on the attachment icon (the paperclip) within the text area. 

Click on the attachment icon
Screenshot by Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Choose your image or file to upload. 

Choose an image
Screenshot by Maria Diaz/ZDNET

When you add your image or file, you can also tell ChatGPT what you want to do with it. You can ask GPT-4 to transcribe, describe, or tell you something about the images you upload. 

If you're uploading a file, you can ask the AI chatbot to give you a summary of it, to give you the biggest takeaways in bullet points, or to highlight what's most important to your specific subject. 

Tell ChatGPT what you want from the file

I uploaded an older ChatGPT Plus screenshot and simply asked GPT-4 to 'tell me about this image'.

Screenshot by Maria Diaz/ZDNET

GPT-4: Image generation with DALL-E 3

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ChatGPT Plus subscribers can ask the bot to create images at any time while using GPT-4 -- there's no need to enable the AI image generator. 

Also: DALL-E 3 in ChatGPT Plus is helpful but also gave me images of laptops from 1900

Give GPT-4 a prompt to create the images you want. You can say something like, "Create an image of a starburst in front of a rainbow-colored galaxy background", or "Create a photo of a red octopus riding a blue cruiser bicycle along the California shoreline."

Also: More fun with DALL-E 3 in ChatGPT: Can it design a T-shirt?

Try to be as clear and descriptive as possible with your prompt. The more detailed you are, the better the results. 

Give GPT-4 image prompt

Giving DALL-E 3 prompts works just like chatting with ChatGPT. Just enter your prompt and send.

Screenshot by Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Click on your image to download it. You can download the image or have GPT-4 create another one using your prompt. To regenerate an image, click on the refresh icon below the image created by DALL-E 3. 

Generated image

GPT-4 generated this image with the prompt, "Create a photo of a red octopus riding a blue cruiser bicycle along the California shoreline." The hat was a nice touch.

Screenshot by Maria Diaz/ZDNET


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One of the biggest upgrades ChatGPT has made to its Plus subscription is the ability to create custom GPT bots, dubbed My GPTs -- the feature was so overwhelmingly popular that it forced OpenAI to temporarily halt new subscriptions. 

You can learn how to create your own custom GPT-4 bots here, but we'll show you how to access this feature with your Plus subscription.

Click on your name on the lower-left corner of the ChatGPT window to access your account. Then click on My GPTs from the menu.

Click on your name and My GPTs
Screenshot by Maria Diaz/ZDNET

You can now create your custom GPT bot or browse for different options that are available to use. 

OpenAI originally announced during its DevDay event that it would create an 'app store-like' experience to browse custom GPTs. For now, you can easily browse through OpenAI's custom GPTs or access them organically with a link. There's no word on when custom GPTs will be available to search within ChatGPT. 


You can create your own GPT, look through the recent ones you've used, or browse OpenAI's creations. 

Screenshot by Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Using Plugins

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Plugins are widely available for ChatGPT Plus users and are the single best way to get the most out of a ChatGPT Plus subscription. Here's how to turn them on and find them.

Go to your Settings and enable Plugins under Beta features.


Enable the Plugins in your ChatGPT settings. 

Screenshot by Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Go to GPT-4 at the top left of the chat window, and select Plugins from the dropdown menu.

Click on GPT-4
Screenshot by Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Click in the middle of your screen, where it says "No plugins installed", to access the Plugins store. 

Search or browse for plugins

You can access the Plugins store and browse for tools.

Screenshot by Maria Diaz/ZDNET
Use the ChatGPT Plugins
Screenshot by Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Voice chatting with ChatGPT

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ChatGPT can now also process voice inputs and it can respond back in a shockingly natural manner. The voice feature is only available for iOS and Android users with a Plus subscription for now.

Open the ChatGPT mobile app to use the voice feature. It works on iOS and Android, although you do have to allow ChatGPT to access your microphone in phone settings.

There is a headset at the top of the window, which you can tap on to begin talking to the voice feature of ChatGPT.

Choose voice chat
Screenshot by Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Begin your conversation with ChatGPT's voice version. All you need to do is start speaking, and ChatGPT will respond when it hears a pause in your speech. 

Voice chat with ChatGPT
Screenshot by Maria Diaz/ZDNET

ChatGPT's voice is powered by Whisper, another OpenAI project, and is available in five different voices: Cove, Juniper, Sky, Breeze, and Ember. To change your app's voice, go to your settings and choose Voice under Speech.

Start listening

ChatGPT will respond to you when there's a gap in speech. 

Screenshot by Maria Diaz/ZDNET


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When did OpenAI release an all-in-one GPT-4 experience?

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OpenAI, maker of ChatGPT, released an all-in-one experience for ChatGPT Plus users, which automatically switches tools for them, after its DevDay developers conference. 

Also: Can ChatGPT predict the future? Training AI to figure out what happens next

This experiences means subscribers can now access DALL-E 3, Browse with Bing, and use Advanced Data Analysis by just selecting GPT-4, without having to switch between each tool before sending a prompt. 

What is included in ChatGPT Plus?

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A ChatGPT Plus subscription gives you access to the features detailed above and priority access to new releases. Plus is different from a ChatGPT Enterprise subscription, which is a new service for businesses. 

Also: The moment I realized ChatGPT Plus was a game-changer for my business

Here's a breakdown of the different features for each tier:


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Features ChatGPTChatGPT PlusChatGPT Enterprise
Cost Free$20/monthDepends on org size
Acess to GPT-3.5
Access to GPT-4 -
Limits Depends on peak timesUnlimited GPT-3.5 | 50 messages per three hours for GPT-4Unlimited
Internet browsing -
Plugins -
Custom Instructions
Code Interpreter -
Voice feature -
Image processing -
32k-token context --
Chat templates --
Admin console --
API credits --

What are Custom Instructions?

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Custom Instructions are a way to tailor ChatGPT's responses to your preferences. You can add instructions to your account that will determine how the AI chatbot will respond to each of your prompts. 

Also: 6 helpful ways to use ChatGPT's Custom Instructions

For example, I prefer getting my summaries in bullet points, highlighting the most important information, so I added this to my Custom Instructions. Each time ChatGPT responds to me with explanations or summaries, it does so in bullet points. 

Custom Instructions originally launched as a feature that's exclusive to ChatGPT Plus subscribers, but the capability is now rolling out to all free users. 


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