Have you ever needed to scan a document, but not had a scanner on hand? Well just think how convenient it would be if you could use your phone as a scanner instead. If you’re a smartphone owner and regular app user, you’re probably aware of the myriad of apps that can do this. What you may not know is that there’s also a phone app out there that can not only scan a document, but also gives you the ability to edit the scanned text. It’s called Microsoft Office Lens, and now it’s available for iOS and Android. Here’s what you need to know.
What is Microsoft Office Lens?Microsoft Office Lens is virtually a scanner in your pocket. You snap a picture of anything with text on it, and just like that it’s converted into a scanned document. What separates it from other similar apps out there is its ability to make the scanned text editable as if it were in a Word document.
Unlike most other phone scanning apps, Office Lens automatically detects the borders of the item or document you’re scanning. This means you don’t have to bother lining up the edges of the item with a grid - you just point and shoot. The Lens app then optimizes the picture so that the text is easy to read. It does this by cleaning up shadows and straightening awkward angles. The images you snap are also automatically synced to OneNote. This allows you to easily store them, transfer to your other devices or share them later. Additionally, the images can be saved to Microsoft Word, PowerPoint or PDF format. Originally launched in March 2014, up until now Microsoft Office Lens was only available to Windows Mobile users. Its wider release seems a godsend to anyone who has had to rewrite scanned documents to make changes or reformat information.
To give you an idea of some of the items Microsoft Office Lens can scan, check out the list below:
- Business cards
- White boards
- Really anything that has text on it
How to get Microsoft Office Lens appIf you use an iOS device, you can download the app for free on iTunes.
As for Android, a fully functional version of the app is not yet readily available. However, you can get a preview version by joining the “Office Lens Android Preview” community on Google +. There you can sign up to become a tester.
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