Microsoft Office Lens
Microsoft Office Lens is a mobile phone app used for scanning objects, like documents, into digital copies or images. The app allows you to edit, crop, rotate, and enhance the quality of the images you scan. You can save what you scan as a PDF file, a Word document, a PowerPoint file, or you can save the image to OneDrive. You can also import images from and save images to your mobile device's photo gallery.
Where to Download Microsoft Office Lens
When you first open the Lens app, you will have to give it permission to access your device's camera and photo gallery.
Logging into your Microsoft Account
To sign into your Microsoft account, start by clicking the menu button, or the three vertical dots, in the top right corner of the camera screen. After the menu opens, click on Settings.
In the Settings menu, under General, click on Accounts and Privacy.
At the top of the Accounts and Privacy page, click on Add an account.
Click Sign In on the next page.
Then, enter your email address and password. You may be told to restart the app to complete the sign in process. Exit the app and close it in your device's recent apps screen. After that, you should be logged into your Microsoft account on the Lens app.
Scanning an Object
Microsoft Office Lens can gives you several options for capture formats. They are document, business card, whiteboard, and photo. Select the format based on the item you are trying to scan. When you are ready, hold your device so that the item is in the center of the screen. An orange outline will appear around the item. Take the picture by clicking the gray shutter button. You will then be shown a screen where you can crop the image based on what was automatically outlined.
After you crop the image, click Confirm. On the next screen, you can see what the final scan will look like. You can also edit the image any way you like. You can add text, add drawings, rotate, crop, or delete the image.
When you are finished editing, click Done in the bottom-right corner. Next, you will see a screen where you can set the document name and save it to a certain place. You can save the document to your device's photo gallery or, if you have a Microsoft account connected to the Lens app, you can save it as a PDF, a OneNote file, a Lens file, a Word document, or a PowerPoint file. Saving it as one of these files will automatically store it in your Microsoft account's OneDrive cloud storage.
Scanning a Multi-Page Document
The Microsoft Lens app allows you to scan a document with multiple pages and save it as one file. To do this, start by scanning the first page of the document. After you finish scanning the first page and cropping the image, you will be shown a page where you can further edit the file, add a new page, or finish scanning. Click Add New in the bottom-left corner.
The camera will open again allowing you to scan the next page. After you scan and crop the next page, you will be brought back to the camera. Scan as many pages as you like. When you have scanned all the pages of the document that you need, click the icon with the number over it in the bottom-right corner. This icon keeps track of the amount of pages you have scanned for this document.
You will then be brought back to the screen where you can edit each page of the document. Edit the pages how you need to and then click the Done button in the bottom-right corner. On the next page, enter a name for the file and select where you want to save it.
Emailing a Document
If you want to email a document that you've scanned, start by clicking the three vertical dots in the top-right corner and click My Files.
Find the document that you want to send and click the three vertical dots on the document's icon.
When the menu appears, click on Share.
Another menu will appear asking which method you want to share the document through. Select the email application you prefer. The scanned document will now be attached to an email.
Another option is first creating a new email and attaching your document to the email. After you create a new message, click the attach file icon. You can choose between attaching a file or attaching a picture. If you are attaching a file saved to your OneDrive, click Choose from Files and under Office 365, click Files. Select the document you want to attach and click attach file. If you are attaching an image saved in your photo gallery, click Choose from photo library. Click the image or images you want to attach and they will be added to the email message.
Optical Character Recognition
The Lens app also provides users with a service called optical character recognition, or OCR. This service lets you convert an image that contains text to a text file that you can edit.To use this function, you must save your scanned document as a Microsoft Word, or ".docx", file. In the save menu, select the option that says Word (OCR Document). If you have your Microsoft account linked to Lens, the file will be saved to your OneDrive.
After you save the file, you should now be able to open the file in Word and edit it as you would a normal text file.
Alternatively, you can also save your document as an OCR converted PDF which will allow for text to be searchable. This will enable your PDF to be read by screenreaders for accessibility purposes. Here is a tutorial video that will take you through that process: