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The OneNote Android Mobile app allows you to leverage the power of Microsoft Lens directly from OneNote. The camera icon on the quick capture bar launches the Microsoft Lens app directly allowing you to easily capture an image, or you could launch the camera from the Command Bar while you are capturing a note.  

Microsoft Lens (formerly “Office Lens”) is a great way to capture information from documents, whiteboards, business cards, receipts, menus, signs, handwritten memos, or anything else containing text that you want to import but not type out yourself. With Microsoft Lens, you don’t need to jot down any notes by hand, rely on blurry cell phone images, or worry about misplacing anything.  

Microsoft Lens is great for capturing sketches, drawings, and equations too — even images without text. When capturing images, Microsoft Lens gets rid of shadows and odd angles, so your final captures are easier to see. 

Choose what to capture 

  1. As soon as you open Microsoft Lens, you can choose a capture mode.

  2. Swipe left or right near the bottom of the screen to select from Actions, Document, PhotoWhiteboard, or Business Card modes.

  • Document: This mode is optimized for small words that are written or typed on a page or on a note. It’s also great for things like forms, receipts, posters, fliers, or restaurant menus.

  • Actions: This mode can be used to extract text from your image, which you can copy or share.

  • Photo: This mode is best used for capturing photographs and images containing scenery or people.

  • Whiteboard: This mode is best used for capturing handwritten notes and sketches on a dry erase board or a similar surface. Microsoft Lens will adjust your images so that the background isn’t too bright, and the ink strokes are easier to see.

  • Business Card: This mode captures contact information from a business card and saves it to Microsoft OneNote. This feature currently works best with business cards in English, German, Spanish, or Simplified Chinese.

Take a picture 

After you’ve selected your capture mode, you can either take a new picture with your camera or import an existing image from your device. 

Do either of the following: 

  • To take a picture with your Android device, point the camera at the item you want to capture and make sure that the orange frame in the camera outlines the item you want to capture. Your camera’s flash is set to go off automatically (if needed), but you can change this setting by tapping the Flash icon in the upper right corner of the capture window. When you’re ready to take the picture, tap the round Camera button at the bottom of your screen.

  • If you prefer, you can import an existing image from the Gallery on your Android device. In the Microsoft Lens capture screen, tap the Picture button near the lower left corner of the capture window. Navigate to the photo album containing the picture you want to use, and then tap it to import it into Microsoft Lens.

Review and edit 

Microsoft Lens in OneNote lets you edit captured images before you save them, so they look exactly how you want. You have the option to adjust the borders of each image after you capture it, or you can capture images one after the other and edit them later.  

  1. Tap any of the icons that appear in the lower tray to begin editing or adjusting a captured image. 

    • You can Add a new image to your scan, apply a Filter to the image, Crop, Rotate, or Delete the image, annotate it with the Pen or with Text, or Reorder the images.

    • By using the optional Crop feature, you can trim away any unwanted parts of the image by excluding them from your selection.

    • To reorder multiple images in a scan, tap Reorder. You’ll be shown all captured images in one view, and you can then drag them in the order you want.

  2. When you’re done reordering the images, tap Done in the lower right corner. You can then continue editing the current image with any of the other editing tools.

  3. When you’re done editing your images, tap the purple Done button in the lower corner. All the images are stored automatically on your OneNote Notebook Page.

Use intelligent Actions 

  1. Select the Actions mode from the main screen to extract text from an image.

  2. Point the camera at the text you want to extract, and then tap the round Camera button.

  3. Next, position the text by adjusting the borders of the image and then tap Continue in the lower right corner of the screen.
    If you want to retake the image, tap Retake in the lower right corner of the screen.

  4. When you tap Continue, Microsoft Lens extracts the text from the image and displays it on your screen.

  5. You can now Copy the text and Share it in any of the other apps on your Android device or select tap Done to add the text to your OneNote Notebook Page.

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