Microsoft Office Lens: Free Scanning App

What is Microsoft Office Lens Free Scanning App?

Microsoft Office Lens is a free mobile scanning app. As a student you can use it to create scanned copies of photos, documents, text books, whiteboards, posters, business cards and other content. It is available on both iOS and Android devices. Microsoft Lens allows users to further edit the document after scanning, convert them to other formats, and share them with other users. You do not need an Office 365 subscription or any other subscription package to access the Microsoft Office Lens app.

Office Lens makes use of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) which even allows the source document to be converted into editable Word document.

Microsoft Office Lens Interface

When you open the Microsoft Office Lens app, your device’s back camera opens with a full-screen view and four content type options. You can swipe through these content options to choose your preference for the content you’re about to scan.

Different Content Types in Microsoft Office Lens


You can use the document option to create scanned copies of paper pages, large amounts of texts, books and posters. Using the built-in cropping tool, you can crop out other items in the background to achieve a clear image of the target document.  You can also convert the scans to editable Word documents using OCR.



Teachers and students can use the whiteboard option to create scanned copies of dry-erase or large boards. This option comes with an automated lightening for improved contrast, and the OCR feature comes in handy to make it possible for a screen reader to read the text and use the file on another application.


The Photo function is useful for taking pictures of other pictures. You may use it to create scanned copies of printed pictures, or even take new pictures. The front or selfie camera works in this mode, but it does not support the automatic cropping feature.

Business Card

This function is suitable for taking pictures of business cards or contact information and turning them into scanned copies. It is ideal for businesses and corporate individuals.

Microsoft Office Lens for those with a visual impairment.

 If you have a visually impairment you can also make use of office lens as the app supports screen reader functionality.  In this screen shot above you can see the Android reader is called immersive reader.  So you can scan handouts, text books or whiteboards using the app and then have this content read back to you. Alternatively, if you prefer to read yourself you could zoom in on the content to increase the font size.


Microsoft Office Lens is an excellent free tool and we would definitely recommended it to make your life easier when at University.

Download on the Apple App Store

Download on the Google Play Store


Visit the A2B Blog for more apps and software.

Thanks for reading,

A2B Assessments DSA Assessment Centre

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