Excel Can Now Turn Pictures of Tables Into Actual, Editable Tables

Posted on March 1, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Office 365, Microsoft 365, Mobile, iOS, Android with 8 Comments

Microsoft is introducing a really useful feature for Excel on mobile devices. The company is rolling out a new update to the Excel app for Android that makes it really easy to capture data.

If you ever had to manually enter data from a paper in real life into your spreadsheets, you are going to love this. Excel now lets you take pictures of a document/paper in real life, crop the picture, and turn that into an actual, editable data on Excel. After capturing the data, you can edit the data to make sure Excel’s image recognition is 100% accurate, and make any changes if some of the scanned data were incorrect.

The feature seems really useful, and it’s just one of the ways Microsoft has been pushing Office apps recently. The company’s continued focus on AI has really helped apps like Excel get better and better when it could just continue to be that one boring spreadsheet app. Microsoft can easily bring similar features powered by image recognition and AI to other Office apps as well, so this is probably just the beginning.

The company plans to bring the feature to iOS in the near future.

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Comments (8)

8 responses to “Excel Can Now Turn Pictures of Tables Into Actual, Editable Tables”

  1. Chris_Kez

    The number of times I could have used this as a grad student... le sigh

  2. starkover

    Just tried it on my Note 9 on remarkably poor original. (Multi copied company phone list) It worked surprisingly well.

  3. IanYates82

    There was an xkcd comic earlier this week that's rendered moot by this.

    Surprised it's come to Android first rather than iOS. Usually the other way around

  4. sdboucher

    I can't wait to try it on ios!

  5. chrisrs

    Looks cool.

    Some curious observations:

    This seems to be based on an older version of Office Lens. The crop tool does not have the targeting detail that avoids covering the curser with your finger.

    It is curious that Office Lens saves to every thing but Excel. (Word, One Note, Power Point, PDF, and gallery)

    Word does not have an equivalent direct method, instead relying on Office Lens, then cut and paste. (Smokestacks!)

    Flash fires erratically

    It would be nice if the desktop version of Office Lens had this capability.

    As far as using it, I had mixed results.

    Office Lens does a much better job creating a Word Table than the Excel import of the same image.

    If I knew how to post screen shots, I would.

  6. truerock2

    I wish Microsoft Word could do this.

  7. dontbe evil

    love it ... and people still use gsuite? LOL

  8. newgov

    that will be a very useful feature of Microsoft excel thanks for the information .