Coming soon: Import spreadsheet data from an image

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This one will be super useful – it’s called “import data from picture” and it’s coming soon to a spreadsheet near you!

Import data from picture

Excel for Windows is getting a new feature called “import data from picture”.

This lets you use a picture or photo of data in a tabular format, and import it right into Excel.

Speed

The main benefit here is speed. Saving time typing in data is always a good thing.

This is what we are all about!

Accuracy

Accuracy will depend on the quality of the input picture. Lighting conditions, photo angles and other complexities will determine how well the original data is interpreted.

The Data from Picture import tool contains a review step that allows you to correct mistakes. It also identifies items that it is uncertain about, so you can review these before importing the final data.

Feature availability

This feature is being progressively rolled out to “insider” Excel users to obtain feedback.

It will almost certainly become part of future versions of Excel.

Meanwhile, it is being made available to users with Beta Channel Version 2207 (Build 15402.20002) or later.

A similar feature is already available on the smartphone version of Excel (if that’s your thing).

Next steps

The ability to import data from an image has a lot of potential, and will prove useful in a wide range of situations. It will be time saver for sure.

It’s also a great chance to train the machine to interpret data better over time, though it remains to be seen how much focus will be given to that aspect.

We can’t wait to see what this feature looks like when it is released more widely!