Back in 2018, Microsoft announced that it’s planning to introduce a new feature to its Excel app that will let users turn photos of table data into Excel spreadsheets. After a few months of beta testing, Microsoft pushed the new feature to Android smartphones at the beginning of this year. And finally, now the time has finally come for the Excel iOS app to enjoy the similar power.
Microsoft today has officially announced that the Excel iOS app is now capable of producing a spreadsheet out of a photo of table data. Thanks to optical character recognition (OCR) technology and machine learning models, this is now possible in the Excel iOS app. Here is how the feature works on the iOS app:
According to Microsoft, the feature will let users
- Consolidate dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of rows of paper-based data in a flash—all without a single pencil mark.
- Create illustrative charts and graphs to summarize information that was extremely difficult to communicate before.
- Use Ideas in Excel to surface new trends and dependencies you might have missed when your data only existed on paper.
- Easily archive data documents for future reference and compliance purposes.
For those wanting to have an insight into how Microsoft was able to develop the feature, the company has dedicated a blog post where it shared a lot of info about how the feature works.