A Scanner In Your Pocket with Office Lens

Office Lens

Despite our attempts to become a paper-free society, the world is still driven by shredded and pressed tree pulp with words printed on them. As such, most offices either have a filing cabinet full of paperwork they need to keep or they have a desk scanner or multi-function device to convert it all to digital files. But what if you’re on the road or don’t have a scanner and want to digitize a document, white board, or business card into something useful (and not just take a picture of it, which doesn’t always work)? Then you need Office Lens.

Office Lens is a Microsoft-created iOS, Android and Windows app that is built to be a scanner in your pocket, eliminated all the stuff you don’t need when you’re taking a picture of something.

Using the app, it will digitize notes on whiteboards or blackboards, making them readable, allow you to extract information automatically from business cards, digitize receipts or stray sticky notes so you don’t lose them and more! Office Lens can convert images to editable Word and PowerPoint files too.

Some of the scenarios where this app can be really handy:

  • Capture and crop a picture of a whiteboard or blackboard and share your meeting notes with co-workers.
  • Make digital copies of your printed documents, business cards or posters and trim them precisely.
  • Printed and handwritten text will be automatically recognized (using OCR), so you can search for words in images and then copy and edit them.


  • With Whiteboard mode, Office Lens trims and cleans up glare and shadows.
  • With Document mode, Office Lens trims and colors images perfectly.
  • Pictures can be saved to OneNote, OneDrive or other cloud storage.
  • Business Card mode can extract contact information and save it into your address book and OneNote.
  • Choose to convert images to Word (.docx), PowerPoint (.pptx) or PDF (.pdf) files that are automatically saved to OneDrive.

You can download the app here for iOS, Android and Windows.

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