Digitize Physical Documents With Microsoft Office Lens

An app that works like a portable scanner

Have you ever been in a situation where you needed to capture and share a physical document, but of course, you didn’t have access to a scanner while you were out of the office? We’ve all been there before. You might be at a tradeshow getting business cards or in a meeting brainstorming with your team. Regardless, you need to capture a physical document for one reason or another but you’re nowhere near a scanner.

Microsoft Office Lens, available for free on iOS and Android, is an application that turns your phone into a portable scanner to save pretty much everything with a quick scan. You can turn your scan into a digital file within seconds, then share it, edit it or keep it on hand for later on. It’s a great way to keep track of:

  • Brainstorming sessions
  • Receipts
  • Business cards
  • Sticky notes
  • And more

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How does it work?

The app uses optical character recognition that offers greater clarity than your average camera or smartphone. In fact, the clarity is so great that you can even turn bad handwriting into something readable. Here’s how it works

  1. Select the physical document within the options on the camera screen, such as a photo, document, or whiteboard.
  2. Scan within seconds as the application does the work for you – finding the edges of the item and cleaning it up.
  3. Crop the image if needed so you can keep the focus on what you need and nothing else.
  4. Share or save in multiple places or formats including the following programs you’re probably already using:
  • OneDrive
  • OneNote
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Powerpoint
  • Email

Will it replace a physical scanner?

Microsoft Office Lens won’t necessarily replace a physical scanner, but it will significantly reduce the reliance on them. Instead of employees waiting for the scanner to be free, they can use the application to snap a quick shot and turn it into a digital file. This means your employees will be much more productive throughout the day.

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