A scanner, pdf creator and OCR – Office Lens app on iOS

It’s an almost perfect scanner, an image to Word converter, a PDF creator and a cloud exporter. And all these right in your pocket, anytime, anywhere. That’s Microsoft’s Office Lens App (available in iOS App Store). The best part,  it is FREE. 

There are many Apps in iOS AppStore for document scanning. Almost every app has some basic features like cropping, clean rendering, exporting to some cloud etc. Personally I have used a lot of apps and even now use a couple of them for my day to day activities. But somehow OL (I will be referring Office Lens as OL in this blog from now for simplicity) pulls more attention towards it with some worthwhile features. 

An app like this can be a huge help and a rescue at times. If you don’t have it on your phone right now, you are missing something excellent. Of course we can always argue why we need a scanning app when we can get good quality scans on our home scanners. The answer is to make your life simpler and tasks easy. I will take through a list of activities which you can do with OL, post which you will find the productiveness of this tool. 

It’s a Microsoft product and it really does what it promises. Let’s see it’s usage on an everyday basis: 

Receipt Scanner— How many times did you see a transaction on your credit card or bank statement and couldn’t figure out what you had spent on? Or how many times you misplaced a cab bill which you had to claim from Company. Well that can be simply solved. Use this app to scan your receipts everyday anytime anywhere and they will safely reside in one drive or camera roll. Want to have a PDF of the receipt, well you are lucky, that can be done as well. So go ahead stop searching for those perky receipts and getting lost in piles of bills. Just spend a few minutes every day after work scanning receipts for the day and never again you will need to remember the whereabouts of the unknown transaction. That way even after a couple of years, you still have access to how much you spend on a party (you may not have the physical copy after so long). 

PDF creator— want to create a PDF for a scanned page instead of image. Well just scan what You need and let the app worry about converting to a perfect PDF. Saves you time searching for online conversion tools. Only con is that it still can scan multiple pages together and merge into single pdf. I hope Microsoft will add that feature in future.

Meetings —We all know how meetings end up. Almost heaps of drawings on paper and whiteboards with all the geeky information. Instead of noting them down all on your pad and then missing that important date or a key point, just snap a picture using OL. It has the perfect recipe for those occasions. No more missed deliveries. Make sure your company has no problems with taking a snap. Otherwise it a very good way to keep meetings in track. 

Soft copies — Everyone should keep a version of their most important documents scanned and kept it somewhere safe. Your mark sheets, Marriage certificate, children’s school results, promotion letters, appointment letters, company release letters, Visa copies, birth certificates of your family members, insurance, loan docs and others. Almost every one has a file full of documents which are very very important and something if lost will be a lot tough to get back. We all should scan them and keep a soft copy of those precious pages securely somewhere. The purpose is not to replace the originals but keeping a copy just in-case the originals are misplaced. OL will be your guide here. Scan them all using OL and export them where you please. 

Create an Editable Document from Image — Something which made me a fan of this app. This feature is probably not for all but it’s a deal breaker for many. Imagine you have a printout of a document which you have created a year back but lost the soft copy of that (yes it’s perfectly possible). Say your resume. Now you want to add something or edit it (obviously) but somehow can’t figure out the latest one in your system or emails. Not to worry. Just scan your printout and export it as Word. Magically you have a Editable Soft copy in your One Drive of the very resume or document. Edit it and you are good to go. It is extremely intelligent in the conversion to word and results are near perfect. 
For Students — If you are a student then it can be of immense help. Taking pictures of handwritten notes and keeping it in cloud for later retrieval is a much quicker way than making a photocopy of that or handwriting it. Since most students have a smartphone or a tablet nowadays it even easier. No more missed lecture notes thanks to OL. 


So personally speaking OL deserves a shot from everyone who needs a good scanner or a simple PDF converter. Let us know if you like it. 

Happy Scanning !! 

– @rindam for TechDaily

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