Microsoft recently rolled out a number of major updates to its products, including a particularly handy new feature for Excel. Using the Android version of the app, users will be able to snap a photo of a printed data table and have it converted into a digital, editable spreadsheet. The feature, which is available to Microsoft 365 subscribers, isn’t available on iOS yet but Microsoft is promising it will arrive soon.
The new import feature uses image recognition technology to identify all of the information on the page and convert it into an Excel spreadsheet in the app. It should eliminate the need to manually enter or copy data, depending on its accuracy. The feature, labeled in-app as “Insert Data from Picture,” can perform the conversion from analog to digital with a single tap. Microsoft first floated the idea for this tool last year before being made widely available in the most recent update to the Android app. It’s just the latest in the company’s ongoing efforts to insert more machine learning models into its products.
In addition to the new import feature for Excel, Microsoft also introduced new security tools for Microsoft 365 products. The company will start pushing important alerts through its Authenticator app, which will make it easier for users to address potential security concerns like breaches and leaks. The Authenticator app can be used for two-step verification and to quickly view account activity to make sure everything is on the up and up. The update is available in the most recent version of the Authenticator app for iOS and Android.