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Make Analog Spreadsheets Digital with Excel

We live in an increasingly digital world. With a button click or a tap of the screen, we have instant access to almost all the data we need. Yet we still receive information in non-digital formats, such as paper receipts, brochures, and whiteboard notes in meetings. To make it easier for you, Microsoft have developed methods for converting analog data into digital formats so you can be more productive. Excel now allows you to insert data directly from a photo.

Take a picture of a printed data table on your Android or iPhone device and Excel will automatically transform it into a fully editable table. As a result of this new image recognition technology, hard copy data will no longer be required to be manually entered.

Turn Photos into Excel Data

  • In the Excel app, tap the New button at the top of the app. You can choose to create a blank workbook or use one of the templates that come with the app.
  • Tap the Data from Picture button at the bottom of the app. If this is your first time using the tool, tap Allow to give Microsoft permission to convert the image to data.
  • Position the red rectangle around the data you want to capture, and then tap the round Capture button. This may take you a few tries to capture what you want.
  • If you are happy with the captured image, tap the red check button to convert the data. If you’re not, tap the X and start again.
  • In a preview of the captured data, tap a red-highlighted cell and then tap Edit to enter any missing information or make changes. Tap Done after each change.
  • Once you are happy with the data, tap Insert at the top to place the data in your workbook.

Additional Notes

The Insert Data from Picture tool for Android and iOS can work with 21 languages, including French, German and Spanish, with more languages to come.

Updated on October 11, 2022

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