Free Video Tutorial: Tip - Scanning with Office Lens - Apple Mac, iPad & iPhone Tutorials from ScreenCastsOnline
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Apple Notes is great but is sorely missing Optical Character Recognition, or OCR, for scanned documents. This enables you to search for words inside scanned documents. Perhaps we'll see that in a future release.

In the meanwhile, using Office Lens, you can scan documents, whiteboards, and business cards today on your iPhone or iPad and make them fully searchable. Unfortunately, you can't bring the searchable documents into Apple Notes, but if you use an application like Microsoft OneNote, you can search the entire contents of your scanned items - it can even search your handwritten notes.

In this tip, I show you the basics of using Office Lens and OneNote.

The full tutorial covers

  • Introduction
  • Scanning Documents
  • Scanning Business Cards

App Store Links:

iOS App Store - Office Lens

Show Links:

ScreenCastsOnline OneNote Tutorials

Video Tutorial Comments

(3 comments posted)

Antony Bacon

If you scan or drag a jpeg of a document with words into Onenote, it becomes searchable after a short wait. Not sure if that's technically OCR, but for me it adds up to the same capability. Doesn't work for pdfs, though.

James S

Thanks Don, this sounds like a really useful for "on the road" use (maybe quick paper receipts and the like). But for regular paperwork, I strongly recommend buying a Fujitsu ScanSnap document scanner, if you can justify the expense. They do an A4 page in seconds, and stacks of pages in minutes, into either PDF or JPG format. And importantly, store them straight into decent file sizes (even the highest quality is not multiple MB-per-page, that you'd typically get from a flatbed scanner!).

The newer iX500 wireless (optionally wired) model is superb, and easily the the best one to go for if you can afford it at ~350 (I've the older S1500M wired-only model, which still works 6+ years since originally buying it!). Easily one of the best tech investments I've made, as I can see it lasting several more years to come, and has literally saved me tens of hours over the years for those paper docs that come in, when you cannot get digital versions straight from the source (still too many things are just not digital!).

James
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01GJ9DJS0
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01G3JYVYM

Reply

Don McAllister

Hi James, Couldn't agree more - the Fujitsu Snap Scanner is my go to device when doing some serious scanning!

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Video Tutorial Transcription