Watch Microsoft Excel Mobile Take Pictures Of Data Tables And Import Them

It can be a major pain to transfer information from physical documents to digital ones sometimes. As it turns out, Microsoft is working on a feature that would make this process faster and much more convenient. Microsoft Excel users will soon be able to take a picture of a receipt or some other form of table data and insert that information directly into a Excel sheet via some fancy optical character recognition tricks.

microsoft excel insert data

Users will first tap the “Insert data from the picture” button on their tablet or smartphone. Once they have fit their data within a red capture area, they will be able to take a photo and crop it. Excel will then import the data and convert it into a table. Users will also be able to edit any information that did not fully translate from the photo to Excel. Once finished, simply press “Insert” and Excel will finish converting the table to an actual spreadsheet data table. 

The “Insert Data” feature is ideal for businesses, researchers, and students. Many companies and institutions record information through digital methods, but there are still several fields where paper is king. At the moment, “Insert Data” is a beta feature and is currently only available to a small number of Office Insiders with Android devices. Microsoft hopes to release the feature to all Office 365 subscribers within the next few months. Office Insiders is similar to the Windows Insider program, but instead focuses on Office builds. Insiders can either test beta features as they are released or receive monthly build tests.

Microsoft Excel also received a major update with Office 2019 recently. Redmond added a number of new functions and charts, better support for timelines and 2D maps, and a host of new updates for features like Power Pivot and Power Query. Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Project, Visio, Access, and Publisher were also upgraded.

Perhaps Microsoft’s next standalone productivity suite will include this new “Insert Data” feature. At the moment, Microsoft is more focused on promoting their subscription service for Office 365. They recently released three videos that highlighted the “Twins Challenge”. One biological twin was supposed to complete a task with Office 2019, while the other twin accomplished the task with Office 365. Microsoft was conveying that Office 365’s cloud-based software helped one twin complete the task more quickly than the other. It remains to be seen how long Microsoft will continue to release products like Office 2019.