Microsoft Excel on Windows Will Soon Import Data From Photos

June 15, 2022

Microsoft Excel Logo

Many applications can already read and sort data from photos and scans of documents, using optical character recognition, and soon that functionality is coming to Excel for Windows.

Microsoft has an ‘Data from Picture’ feature in Excel for Mac, as well as the iPhone and Android apps, which allows you to scan a document (like a receipt or a screenshot of a table from a website) and place the results in an Excel sheet. However, the option hasn’t been available on Excel for Windows.

Microsoft is now starting to test Data from Picture in Excel for Windows with Office Insiders testers, starting with Beta Channel Version 2208 (Build 15402.20002). The option is available by clicking the Data tab in the ribbon bar, then clicking ‘From Picture’ in the ribbon. You can import an image from your clipboard or local files — there’s no option to take a new picture and scan it immediately (for PCs with rear-facing cameras), at least not yet.

Scanning a table with the result "$7.49" highlighted for review

Once you import an image, Excel will analyze it and attempt to convert the results into data rows. You can review through the results afterwards, and if everything looks good, the new data will be added to the current document.

Microsoft says Data from Picture only works with text written in English, Bosnian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish. The functionality is also still limited to Office Insiders testers, but if no significant bugs are discovered, it could roll out to everyone with Microsoft 365 soon.

Source: Office Insider

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