How to Input Text Using Your Phone’s Camera in Microsoft Word

793405 How to Input Text Using Your Phone's Camera in Microsoft Word

Using your phone’s camera to input text into Microsoft Word can save you time and effort compared to manually typing or scanning a document. With optical character recognition (OCR) technology built into Microsoft’s mobile apps, it’s easier than ever to get text from a physical document into a digital Word file.

In this step-by-step guide, you’ll learn how to:

  • Prepare your phone and Microsoft Word app
  • Capture an image of text using your camera
  • Extract the text using OCR
  • Insert the text into a Word document

Step 1: Download the Required Apps

To get started, you’ll need:

  • The Microsoft Word app installed on your iPhone or Android phone
  • The free Microsoft Office Lens app, also available on iOS and Android

Office Lens uses OCR technology to detect text in images and convert it into an editable Word document.

Step 2: Prepare Your Word Document

Open the Word app and create a new blank document. This is where you’ll insert the text captured from your camera.

Position your cursor where you want the text to be inserted. You can add text from your camera anywhere in the document – top, middle, bottom, etc.

Step 3: Capture the Image

Open the Office Lens app on your phone. Select the “Document” option to activate the camera.

Carefully position your phone camera over the document you want to capture. Office Lens will automatically detect the document borders – adjust the corners as needed until the document borders are accurately framed.

Tap the round shutter button to snap an image. Office Lens will automatically straighten and enhance the image.

Step 4: Extract the Text

After capturing the image, Office Lens will detect and extract any text, using OCR technology to convert it into editable text.

You will see the extracted text on your phone screen. Tap the text to open options for copying, sharing, or exporting it.

Step 5: Insert into Word

Back in the Word app, tap to place your cursor where you want the text inserted.

Tap the “Paste” option to insert the text you copied from Office Lens.

That’s it! The text is now inserted into your Word document for editing or formatting as needed.

Tips for Best Results

Follow these tips when capturing text images with your phone’s camera:

  • Ensure the original document has clear, legible text
  • Capture the image in a well-lit area
  • Hold the phone steady over the document
  • Adjust borders so the document fills the camera view
  • For multi-page documents, take one photo per page

The Office Lens app can also capture images of printed tables, whiteboards, business cards, and more. With the OCR capabilities, you can quickly extract text and important information.

Troubleshooting Issues

If the extracted text has errors or isn’t formatting properly in Word, try the following troubleshooting steps:

  • Recapture the image, ensuring the original document is clear and the image is properly framed
  • Check the language setting in Office Lens – it should match the language of text in the document
  • Manually correct any recognition errors in the extracted text before pasting into Word
  • Paste the text into Word using the “Keep Text Only” option to remove formatting


Using your phone camera and OCR technology can save significant time inputting text into Word documents. With the Microsoft Office Lens app and Word mobile app, it only takes a few taps to capture, recognize, and insert text from physical documents.

Give it a try next time you need to work with text from printed pages! Proper preparation of your original document, Word file, and phone camera can ensure you get accurate text extraction.

About The Author