OneNote’s latest app update for Windows 10 lets you scan photos, documents, and whiteboards

Kellogg Brengel

Microsoft is updating its OneNote universal Windows app for both Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile to include some new features; including the ability to scan photos, documents, and whiteboards. The report surfaced on Windows Central earlier this morning that OneNote’s version number for the mobile app went up from 17.6366.43291 to version 17.6568.15371. With the update comes the new feature to scan multiple types of images, either photos, documents, or a whiteboard, and turn them into a readable document.

This capability was previously available in another of Microsoft’s apps, Office Lens. As a separate app, Office Lens works seamlessly with OneNote to scan photos, documents, and whiteboards into multiple types of files such as PDFs, Word Documents, and Power Point Presentations. Office Lens also uses Optical Character Recognition to read the text on whatever you scanned so that the characters could copied or edited. After the scan, Office Lens would save the files to both OneDrive and OneNote. But with the latest updates, users now do not need to open Office Lens, as all of those capabilities are being integrated directly into OneNote.

OneNote updated with Office Lens features
OneNote updated with Office Lens features

The new Office Lens features of OneNote are currently only available in the PC version, but hopefully are making their way to the mobile edition shortly. The What’s New notice lists some of the other recent upgraded features which began becoming usable back in November. Users recently got the ability to easily move/copy pages and sections around OneNote. They also added the ability for OneNote to automatically recognize drawings to turn them into shapes. Users will also be able keep better tabs on where people are working within a shared notebook.

The only Office Lens feature that did not make its way into this integration yet is the ability to read Business Cards and turn them into contact files. It was a handy and smart upgrade to Office Lens that allows you to enter business card into your files with just a few taps on your phone instead of reading and typing each piece of contact information. This feature was one of the more recent additions to Office Lens last year that was first available on the Windows Phone 8.1 version and began making its way to other platforms’ variant of the app. Hopefully, this useful feature makes its way directly into OneNote as well, if today’s update marks Microsoft’s first steps at fully integrating Office Lens into OneNote.