Cool Tech Stuff: Office Lens

Larry Mortimer, AIA

Larry Mortimer, AIA


  Microsoft’s Office Lens has been available on Windows MPhones for about a year now, but it recently became available on the iPhone/iPad, and will soon be available on Android devices.

Office Lens

What does it do? You’ve probably been to a meeting where drawings and notes are scribbled on a whiteboard, or flip chart, and after the meeting you were left trying to figure out how to save, organize, and disseminate those great ideas? Well Office Lens is an app that can turn your mobile smart device into a scanner that allows you to easily record images and notes, process them, and send them to others.

System Requirements: Windows phone, or iPhone/iPad (iOS 8.0 or later), and will be available soon on Android devices.

How does it Work? 1. Choose the appropriate mode. Office Lens operates in three modes: Photo, Document, and Whiteboard. 2. Capture the image. 3. Make any adjustments necessary. It recognizes the corners of what you’re photographing, so even if you shoot at an angle you shouldn’t have to crop or straighten anything manually. There’s also a crop tool if you only want to use part of the image. 4. When you are satisfied with the image, tap Done, and you will be presented with a list of export options. 5. Export the processed image to the option of your choice.

office lens 2

Key Features:

■ Automatic optical character recognition (OCR) (printed text only)

■ Photo mode images can be exported as JPG’s or PDF’s

■ Document mode images can be exported as Word (DOCX) files or PDF’s

■ Whiteboard mode images can be exported as PowerPoint (PPTX) or PDF files

■ In Whiteboard mode, Office Lens trims and cleans up glare and shadows

■ In Document mode, Office Lens trims images and adjusts colors

■ Images can be saved to OneNote, OneDrive or other cloud storage services

■ Images can also be saved to your device’s camera roll, or sent as an email attachment

Pros: It’s fast and easy to use. Office Lens, OneNote and OneDrive (up to 15GB) are all free.

Cons: Currently only a preview (beta) version is available for Android devices. To convert images to Word or PowerPoint files, you must log into a Microsoft account, and it must be the same account as the one registered to your device.

Conclusion:While Office Lens does have some nice features, some other scanning apps can do pretty much the same thing. The strengths of Office Lens are its speed, auto straightening and cropping, and ease of converting a scanned image into a MS Word or Powerpoint document.

More Information and Download at: (for iPhones) (for Windows)

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