What is Microsoft Lens?

Microsoft Lens is a great way for you to capture information quickly and efficiently! The application is free to download and can be used on the majority of mobile devices / tablets. With Lens, you’re able to capture information from documents, business cards, whiteboards, receipts, signs, handwritten notes and more! Instead of taking the time to write things out yourself, or relying on illegible phone pictures, Lens can record these things for you.

In addition to this, Lens is also great at capturing images without text, too – these can include but are not limited to sketches, paintings, and equations! This is because Lens gets rid of shadows and odd angles, so final captures are easier to see!

First, choose what to capture

When you open Microsoft Lens, you will be able to choose a mode of capture by swiping left or right beneath the capture button. The different options include: whiteboard, document, actions, business card, or photo. Each of the modes are good for different things!

Whiteboard – This mode is good for capturing information from a dry erase board. The application will adjust images so that the background isn’t too bright and the ink can be clearly seen and read.

Document – This mode is great at picking up small words like what will be found in a document. It’s also good for capturing things such as receipts, posters and menus.

Actions – This mode is broken down into sub-modes.

  • Text – Use to extract text from an image to copy and share.
  • Table – Capture a printed table form an image to copy and share.
  • Read – Can be used to read aloud text from an image in Immersive Reader.
  • Contact – Can extract information from a business card and store it in your device contacts.
  • QR code – can scan a QR code and display the information for you.

Business Card – This mode can capture information from a business card and save it to your device’s contacts. It will also save to Microsoft OneNote. This feature currently works best in English, German, Spanish, or Simplified Chinese.

Photo – This mode is best for capturing photographs containing people or scenery.

Step 1 – choose mode

Next, take a picture

Once you’ve chosen your capture mode, take a picture with your camera or import an image from your device! To take a picture, point your camera at the item you would like to capture and wait for the red frames to outline the item. Once happy, press the round camera button that’s located to the bottom of your screen.

Or, you can import a image from your device gallery. To do this, tap on the picture button located next to the round camera button. Locate the photograph that you would like to use and tap to import it to Microsoft Lens.

Adjust your borders
Review your image

Review and edit

You have the ability to edit captured images before you save them, so that your final product looks exactly how you would like. The main thing you will likely want to do is evaluate the corners and if needed, adjust them so that the capture looks as it should.

In addition to this, there is a wide array of editing features for you to explore. When you have finished editing, tap on the ‘Done’ button located to the bottom of the screen.

Add / take away filters

Finally, save and share

If you captured your image using the whiteboard, document, or photo mode, you are able to save the image to your device gallery.

You also have the ability to save the image as a PDF file, or to Microsoft OneNote, OneDrive, Word, or PowerPoint. Find the option (or options) that you would like, tap them, and click on ‘Save’.

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