Pocket-lint is supported by its readers. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

(Pocket-lint) - Microsoft just may have invented a new feature that might get you to ditch Google Spreadsheets and go back to Excel. 

It recently updated Excel on Android and iOS devices so that you can easily import spreadsheets and tables into the app using your phone's camera. The feature, which first debuted on Android in March, is now live for iOS users, too, allowing Excel users to take a photo of a printed spreadsheet or table and immediately make it editable within the app.

You’ll not only be able to import the printed spreadsheet with the Excel mobile app and then edit it on your phone, but you'll also be able to later access it and continue editing it while at your desk using the Excel app for Windows or Mac. This is a great feature for students, researchers, and businesspeople who've spent way too many hours copying over tables. 

Microsoft Build 2019: All the announcements that matter

Best VPN 2021: The 10 best VPN deals in the US and UK

How to use Excel app to photograph and import spreadsheets

How To Use The Excel App To Photograph And Import Printed Spreadsheets image 4

Here's how, according to Microsoft:

  1. Open the latest version of the Excel app on your iPhone or Android.
  2. Open a new spreadsheet
  3. At the bottom of the spreadsheet, find the icon that has a camera over table.
  4. From the camera screen that opens, take a picture of what you want to transfer.
  5. Crop your image so that just the graphable information is visible.
  6. Click Done, and it’ll take a second to import.
  7. There may be items for you to review. Click through them to ensure accuracy.

Voila! You’ve managed to cut the time you would’ve spent hand-copying that over by using this cool feature that takes less than a minute.

MicrosoftHow to use the Excel app to photograph and import printed spreadsheets image 3

When will this feature be available?

It is rolling out now to the Excel app on Android and iOS devices.

Writing by Maggie Tillman.