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Apr 12, 2001
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Microsoft today announced that the Excel app for iOS is gaining the Insert Data from Picture feature that was previously made available on Android devices.

Insert Data from Picture lets you take a photo of data in a table format and convert it to a digital format in Excel. You can capture financial spreadsheets, work schedules, task lists, time tables, and more, so long as it's in a table format to begin with.

microsoftexceldatapicture.jpg

According to Microsoft, Insert Data from Picture combines optical character recognition technology, layout understanding techniques, and machine learning to convert information written on paper into digital data.

As of today, the Insert Data from Picture feature also supports 21 languages on both iOS and Android.

The Excel iOS app from Microsoft can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Article Link: Microsoft Brings 'Insert Data From Picture' Excel Feature to iOS Devices
 

now i see it

macrumors G4
Jan 2, 2002
10,703
22,487
1. Who prints spreadsheet table data?
2. Who would ever have a printout of table data to scan?
Spreadsheets live on computers
 

flyinmac

macrumors 68040
Sep 2, 2006
3,579
2,465
United States
1. Who prints spreadsheet table data?
2. Who would ever have a printout of table data to scan?
Spreadsheets live on computers

Often information is shared with others in a printed form. Consider a presentation where attendees are given papers to view while the presenter talks.

Or, even publicly distributed information in packet or booklet form.

Or even historical books and charts with data.

Now you can just take a picture to import the data and start working with it.

Sounds like an interesting feature.
 

Megakazbek

macrumors regular
Mar 12, 2011
145
128
1. Who prints spreadsheet table data?
2. Who would ever have a printout of table data to scan?
Spreadsheets live on computers
It doesn’t have to be actually printed.
Because there is simply no easy way to copy a file from Windows PC to iPhone or even so-called “professional” and “PC replacement” iPad, now you can just take a photo of the screen.
 

HJM.NL

macrumors 68020
Jul 25, 2016
2,151
3,793
Netherlands
That’s nice! And I welcome any new features. But it also comes apparent that more and more new features start on Android first and then are brought to iOS. It’s worrisome because iOS market share is going down worldwide year after year. I’m afraid iOS will come a second class citizen if this trend continues.

I really hope Apple is aware of the trend and will take action to grow its market share.
 

Analog Kid

macrumors G3
Mar 4, 2003
8,997
11,756
Until this very moment, I couldn't see any reason to have Excel on my phone-- now it suddenly feels indispensable.

This is only available through the Office 365 subscription though, is that right?
I wish there was a feature when looking at a plot in a pdf to download the data in table format.
This!

Certainly there must be some decent digitization software out there for stuff like this? Anyone know of such a tool?
Wow! Lets easily email sensitive data for sale!
Or, you know, to use...

I'd assume if the sensitive data was valuable enough to steal and sell, the buyer would be willing to put the manpower into transcribing the tabular data. I know cyber-espionage is in the news a lot, but the old fashioned kind still exists.

"Mr. Bond, did you infiltrate the villain's lair and steal the blueprints to their doomsday weapon"
"I managed to get in, but could only find a paper copy of the plans-- nothing we could actually use."
 
Last edited:

iLilana

macrumors 6502a
May 5, 2003
808
300
Alberta, Canada
1. Who prints spreadsheet table data?
2. Who would ever have a printout of table data to scan?
Spreadsheets live on computers
Some retailers are required to keep physical copies of paperwork for whatever reason. I work with printed copies all the time. This is a solution to some crummy backup issues.
 

Mizouse

macrumors 6502
Nov 5, 2014
426
638
Until this very moment, I couldn't see any reason to have Excel on my phone-- now it suddenly feels indispensable.

This is only available through the Office 365 subscription though, is that right?

FAQ says you don’t need a 365 subscription.

https://techcommunity.microsoft.com...lly-available-on-the-iPhone-Excel/ba-p/622203

Excel for iOS is free to create and edit documents so long as the screen size is smaller than 10.1 inches. You just need a free Microsoft account.

Kind of irritating that I can’t use excel on my 10.5” iPad Pro. And I don’t use excel enough to justify a subscription.

Also I can’t use Apple Numbers because sometimes the conversion screws up.
 
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Rajani Isa

macrumors 65816
Jun 8, 2010
1,161
72
Rogue Valley, Oregon
Some retailers are required to keep physical copies of paperwork for whatever reason. I work with printed copies all the time. This is a solution to some crummy backup issues.
I have a form we use and lost the original digital copy. I’ve been delaying retyping it. This would be great so we can a) stop photocopying the one printed one and b) update it.
 

Bin Cook

Suspended
Jun 16, 2018
383
780
FAQ says you don’t need a 365 subscription.

https://techcommunity.microsoft.com...lly-available-on-the-iPhone-Excel/ba-p/622203

Excel for iOS is free to create and edit documents so long as the screen size is smaller than 10.1 inches. You just need a free Microsoft account.

Kind of irritating that I can’t use excel on my 10.5” iPad Pro. And I don’t use excel enough to justify a subscription.

Also I can’t use Apple Numbers because sometimes the conversion screws up.

Feel for you. Subs on something like Excel is not VFM for consumers.

Also feel for you re Numbers. Feel like Apple agreed to halt dev on it to smooth over their relationship with MS. It’s still not got the full range of functions and as to you say has too many compatibility issues. It’s fixable with the appropriate amount of will...
 

BWhaler

macrumors 68040
Jan 8, 2003
3,788
6,244
Great work by Microsoft.

Apple needs to add this feature to iWork. And go beyond. Lead the way, Apple.
 
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HJM.NL

macrumors 68020
Jul 25, 2016
2,151
3,793
Netherlands
Great work by Microsoft.

Apple needs to add this feature to iWork. And go beyond. Lead the way, Apple.
Lol, if we’re lucky we’ll get some ‘under the hood improvements and dark mode’.
Tim Cook will call it amazing and use some other superlatives. The crowd will clap hands as they’re paid for.
 

wigby

macrumors 68030
Jun 7, 2007
2,780
2,763
1. Who prints spreadsheet table data?
2. Who would ever have a printout of table data to scan?
Spreadsheets live on computers
Spreadsheets are printed all the time so I understand this feature. But on the other hand, if you do have access to the spreadsheet file, what program doesn’t support export to Excel? Seems like a very niche feature. Now if it could scan a PDF or non-table format and create a spreadsheet from that, I would pay for that.
 

Rajani Isa

macrumors 65816
Jun 8, 2010
1,161
72
Rogue Valley, Oregon
Spreadsheets are printed all the time so I understand this feature. But on the other hand, if you do have access to the spreadsheet file, what program doesn’t support export to Excel? Seems like a very niche feature. Now if it could scan a PDF or non-table format and create a spreadsheet from that, I would pay for that.
You don't always have access to the original file. Either a vendor gave you a printed copy, or it's a scan sent via email, etc.
 

JLL

macrumors regular
Apr 25, 2003
211
152
Copenhagen, Denmark
That’s nice! And I welcome any new features. But it also comes apparent that more and more new features start on Android first and then are brought to iOS. It’s worrisome because iOS market share is going down worldwide year after year. I’m afraid iOS will come a second class citizen if this trend continues.

I really hope Apple is aware of the trend and will take action to grow its market share.

The different teams at Microsoft all make new features that later on are put into the other platforms.

Sometimes a new feature is made by the iOS Excel team, other times it’s made by the Windows Excel team and so on.

And it’s actually a good idea, since all teams can work on new features instead of only work on porting other peoples ideas.
 
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HJM.NL

macrumors 68020
Jul 25, 2016
2,151
3,793
Netherlands
The different teams at Microsoft all make new features that later on are put into the other platforms.

Sometimes a new feature is made by the iOS Excel team, other times it’s made by the Windows Excel team and so on.

And it’s actually a good idea, since all teams can work on new features instead of only work on porting other peoples ideas.

I’m very satisfied how Microsoft has evolved. They seem to be very involved with their offerings. Also with office for the Mac. Wish Apple was putting the same energy in their own offerings. Can’t remember when they offered new functionality to their iWork, photo’s, iMovie, etc.
 
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