Scan from your mobile device with Office Lens

In my opinion, Office Lens is the most underrated app released by Microsoft in the last few years. The powerful little app allows users to capture notes and info from whiteboards, menus, signs, handwritten memo’s and anything with a lot of text and convert them to documents using the camera on your phone. A mobile scanner in the palm of your hand!


No longer do you need to jot down notes, worry about misplacing information or rely on blurry images. Office Lens will sharpen and straighten the documents allowing the snap to be taken from any angle. It also allows users to convert them into editable Word documents with the formatting retained, and images can be cropped and rotated.


Any snap can be directly uploaded to Word, PowerPoint, OneNote or OneDrive and you can save them as PDFs or send them in a mail.


Office Lens can be downloaded from the Windows Store (Windows Phone), Apple Store (IOS) and the Play Store (Android).


Choose a Mode


When you open Office Lens, you can choose your mode – Business Card, Photo, Document or Whiteboard. Selecting the correct mode ensures your image will look its best!


If you are using an iPhone 6s or above, you can choose your mode without even opening the app by pressing and holding the Office Lens icon on the home screen.


Business Card This mode will help you extract contract information and save it into your contacts and OneNote.


Photo This is a good mode to use to capture photos of people or scenery.


Document This mode is great to capture posters, fliers, documents etc as it picks up small words and details on a page.


Whiteboard Use this to capture whiteboard notes. Office Lens will adjust images so the words are easy to read and the background not too bright.





Take a Picture

Choose whether or not to use flash and then make sure the frame lines up with the item you want to capture. Press the camera button to take a picture as normal. Office Lens will adjust the image so its sharp and straight even if it was captured on an angle.


Review and Edit

You can edit your image if required using the Crop and Rotate icons. Crop will remove any parts of the image you don’t need. You can also add a caption to the image. The caption will be used as alt text in OneNote and the title of the file in OneDrive.



Captures can be saved directly to OneNote, OneDrive, Word or PowerPoint. You can also save as a PDF file or send the scanned image through Outlook or a local mailer. The image can also be saved to your local photo library on your phone.


Deb is a Microsoft Office Specialist and Microsoft Office Trainer. She has over 20 years training Microsoft products, and If you’re interested in hearing more of what Deb has to say, she is a regular webinar presenter on all things Microsoft. For full access to up to 4 webinars each month, take a look at Membership. For further Microsoft learning, please visit our courses.