Office Lens is a great way to capture notes and info from whiteboards, menus, signs, handwritten memos, or anything with a lot of text. You don’t need to jot down notes, rely on blurry pictures or worry about misplacing anything. It’s great for capturing sketches, drawings and equations too, and even images without text.
Office Lens gets rid of shadows and odd angles so images are easier to read. You can download the Office Lens app for free from Google Play.
You can save document and whiteboard images to Word, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive, as a PDF, or save them in your Gallery.
Choose a mode
As soon as you open Office Lens, you can choose your mode — Document, Whiteboard, Photo, Business card — so Office Lens can make the image look its best.
Document This mode will help you get the most out of small words and details on a page. It’s great for things like posters, fliers, and restaurant menus.
Whiteboard Use this mode to capture notes. Office Lens will adjust images so the background isn’t too bright and the words are easier to read. It’s an ideal setting for blackboards and sketches too.
Photo This is a good mode to use if you’re taking pictures of scenery or people.
Business card This mode will help you extract contact information and save it into your contact list and into OneNote. This mode works best with business cards in English, German, Spanish, and Simplified Chinese.
Take a picture
Choose whether or not to use a flash, and choose other options like photo resolution. To capture the item precisely, make sure the frame outlines it, and then use the Camera button to take your picture.
Review and edit
You can edit your photo before you save it so it’s exactly the way you want it to be.
Retake the image by deleting the current preview.
Use the crop feature to trim away parts of the image you don’t need. Press the Rotate icon to rotate the picture.
When you’re happy with your edits, choose where to save your image.
For captures taken in Photo, Document, or Whiteboard modes, you can save your images to OneNote, OneDrive, as a Word or PowerPoint file, or as a PDF.
You can save your captures to Gallery or save your captures as a PDF without an internet connection and don't need to sign in to the app.
In order to upload your captures to OneNote or OneDrive as images, Word or PPT, you will need an internet connection and be prompted to sign-in.
If you would like Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to be run on your captures, use the Word document format. Office Lens will create a Word file in your OneDrive, which will automatically extract all of the text that is in your captures.
By default, photos saved to OneNote will be in your main notebook. You can also save images to your phone’s gallery.
For captures taken in Business card mode, tap OneNote (Image + Contact) to save the image to your phone’s contacts as a vCard (.vcf file), or save the image to your phone’s Gallery.
Tap the check mark to finish.
If you’re new to OneNote, you’ll find your photos in the Quick Notes section of <Your First Name’s> Notebook. If you’ve been using OneNote for a while, your notebook will have a different name, like Personal, Personal (web), or My Notebook, and your captured content will be in the Unfiled Notes section.
When you save business card information to OneNote, your photos and contact info will be in the Contacts section that OneNote creates in <Your First Name’s> Notebook. OneNote (Image + Contact) will recognize contact details and let you save them to your contacts. It will create two outputs: a OneNote page and a .vcf file. The OneNote page contains recognized contact information, the scanned image, and a VCF file. THe VCF file shows recognized contact info that you can save to your local contacts.
Photos saved as Word files, PowerPoint files, or PDFs will be in your Documents folder in OneDrive so you can access them from any of your devices. PDF files can also be saved locally on your phone, and you can edit the save location for your PDF by tapping on the Save button.
Office Lens doesn’t just take a picture and import an image into a Word or PowerPoint file. The final Word and PowerPoint documents are real Office documents.
For Word, Office Lens recognizes the text, handwritten or printed, and the document layout. All the text, formatting, and layout in the Word document it creates is fully editable — just like you authored it at your desk.
For PowerPoint, all the handwritten lines and strokes are transformed into PowerPoint drawing objects that can be recolored, resized, moved around, and edited. You can remove the background of drawings as well, which makes it easier to reuse the drawings in other presentations.
For PDFs, Office Lens extracts the text information. You can search the content in a file with the text and you can highlight or copy part of the page with your PDF reader app.
Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and supported languages:
Word, PDF, OneDrive, OneNote
English, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish
Business Card mode (OneNote)
English, Simplified Chinese, German, Spanish
To make it easier to work with Office Lens, you can connect a keyboard to your device with either Bluetooth or USB. Additionally, Android has accessibility settings that can help you use Office Lens in a way that works for you. Accessibility setting are usually set during the device’s initial setup, but you can go to Settings > Accessibility Settings to turn on features like TalkBack and Explore by touch. You can learn more at the Android Accessibility Help Center.