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January 9, 2015

Office Lens Update: easily scan and save business cards

With a new update to Office Lens, you can now scan and save those stacks of business cards piling up on your desk into OneNote and Outlook.

office lens business card

The free app, which handily scans documents and text on whiteboards, is your pocket scanner on your Lumia. Now, Office Lens helps simplifyyour work life even more with its new “business card” mode.

Thanks to Microsoft Research, when you take a picture of a business card with Office Lens and save it to OneNote, the app automatically recognizes the card’s contact information and formats into your OneNote notebook.

Here’s how to use the new feature:

  • Open Office Lens.
  • Select the “business card” feature and place the business card you wish to save on a properly lit surface.
  • Take a photo of the business card by tapping the camera icon.
  • Hit the “save” icon.

You can further make use of OneNote on your Lumia smartphone, tablet, or computer and search for contact details or the text contained in the scanned business card.

You can even click to call the contact’s phone number, find his or her office or home address on a map or open the attached VCF file to save the contact details to Outlook.


Right now, the business-card feature works only with English business cards, but additional language support will be added in the future.

If you like, the good Samaritan in you can help the recognition algorithms get smarter via these steps:

  1. Upload your collection of scanned business cards (the images will be only used to improve algorithms.) to a folder on,, or any other cloud drive.
  2. Create a sharing link. Here are instructions for OneDrive and Dropbox.
  3. Email the sharing link to [email protected].

Have you made full use of Office Lens, your mobile scanner, yet?