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Excel for iPhone now lets you take a picture of a spreadsheet and import it

Excel for iPhone now lets you take a picture of a spreadsheet and import it


Available on iOS and Android

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Microsoft is updating Excel for iPhone to add a new way to import spreadsheets and tables into the app using a camera. The feature first debuted on Android back in March, and it allows Excel users to take a photo of a printed data table and convert it into a fully editable table in the app. You’ll be able to import it with Excel for iPhone and then carry on editing it at your desk using Excel for Windows or Mac.

Microsoft is using artificial intelligence to bring this to Excel for iPhone, and it uses optical character recognition (OCR) alongside machine learning models to convert paper-based data into a digital table. The image recognition will automatically detect financial spreadsheets, work schedules, task lists, timetables, and other tables. It’s one of the more impressive features that has appeared in Microsoft’s Excel mobile apps, and Microsoft has combined its work on the PDF Reflow feature for Word, the Office Lens app, and Seeing AI to bring this to life.

This new feature is available immediately in Excel for iPhone in 21 different countries from Apple’s App Store or the Google Play Store for Android.