Study Tips: Office Lens

Occasionally we all miss classes. Sometimes our cars don’t start, the buses don’t run, and it is far too cold to walk to the University, even if it is only 6 blocks. Lucky for us, information has never been more accessible to us than it is today. If you do happen to miss a class, chances are you can text a friend and they will send you a copy of their notes. Problem solved. If you are a little OCD then Office Lens may be the app for you.

Office Lens is a free app that turns your smart phone into a portable scanner. With this app it is possible to enhance photos you have taken of whiteboards and documents to make them readable. It is also possible to convert photos taken with Office Lens into editable Word and PowerPoint files, or you can save them to your photo library.

Office Lens features a whiteboard mode, to trim and clean up any glare or shadows, as well as a document mode to trim and perfectly colour images. Anything you scan with Office Lens can then be saved to OneNote, One Drive, or any other cloud storage service you may be using. This app also features a business card mode, in which contact information can be extracted and stored in your address book, or in OneNote.

Finally, one of the coolest features from Office Lens is the optical character recognition (ORC) software which can recognize handwritten or printed text, allowing you to search for specific words in these scanned images. This information can then be copied and edited, at your convenience.

Office Lens is compatible with the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android devices. As mentioned previously, Office Lens is a 100% free app with zero in-app purchases, this is beginning to be a rarity these days.

Republished from The Quill print edition, Volume 107, Issue 18, January 17, 2017.