How to import printed data table from picture into Excel

You can now snap a picture of a printed data table to import its information into Microsoft Excel, and here’s how to do ti.

Microsoft Excel Insert data table from picture
Microsoft Excel Insert data table from picture

You no longer need to manually input a data table printed on a piece of paper. Microsoft is adding a new feature to Excel for Android (and iOS) to allow users to take a photo of a printed table and convert it into useful data.

The new “Insert data from picture” feature uses Microsoft artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze and recognize the data without the need of the end-user to manually input the data.

This is a feature part of the set of tools available for Office 365 subscribers.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to quickly import a printed data table into an Excel spreadsheet using your Android phone camera.

How to snap a picture import printed data table into Excel

To import a data table from a piece of paper using the Excel app for Android, use these steps:

  1. Open Excel (mobile).

  2. Tap the Insert data from picture button at the bottom of the screen. (If you don’t see this button, you can try using the “light bulb” button to find it, but it’s likely that it’s not yet available for you.)

    Excel Insert data from picture feature
    Excel Insert data from picture feature
  3. Square the camera into the data within the red borders.

  4. Tap the Capture button.

  5. Crop the image as necessary with the picture editing tools.

  6. Tab the Done button.

  7. Use the editing tool to correct any mistakes. Or tap the Ignore button to import the data table without edition.

    Excel data capture edition
    Excel data capture edition
  8. Tap the Insert button.

Once you complete the steps, Excel will process the data and insert it into the spreadsheet where you can continue making changes or input new data.

While this guide focuses on Android, Microsoft is planning to bring the feature to Office 365 subscribers on iOS.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].