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May 21, 2014

Turn your Lumia into a scanner with Office Lens

On its most basic level, Office Lens saves you having to take notes or remember things that are placed in front of your very eyes.

A business card, a whiteboard, or that 700-word document that’s just landed on your desk can all be snapped using your Lumia’s camera and archived for later.


‘Why not just use the normal camera’ you ask? Because, dear friend, there’s an extra layer of intelligent software that makes this a lot more interesting. And powerful.

Take this example: if you’re sat facing a board in a conference room or classroom, but are seated at the side, reading what’s been written can sometimes be tricky.

With Office Lens, you can sit at an angle, take your photo and let the app correct the image for you as if you were looking at it straight on.

These algorithms come from an Advanced Image Editor project that’s being worked on at Microsoft Research.


Once you’ve captured everything in photo-form (all neatly auto-straightened up), one tap of the save icon sends your photos into the cloud to be saved in your OneNote Quick Notes, where you can access it from any internet-connected device.

Office Lens also includes some extra smarts by way of optical character-recognition (OCR).

Each photo that you upload – using the document capturing option – will be scanned for text and OneNote’s cloud-based OCR software will turn it into editable, searchable text.

To find it again, just open OneNote, type out some of the text you remember and the relevant photo will pop up. Very useful.

Download Office Lens today and add it to your note-taking arsenal.