Office Lens: The simple and free way to create an Outlook Contact from a business card

I’ve found Office Lens to be an awesome app for Windows Phone. Recently the app was enhanced to allow for the specific task of scanning business cards.

So how does it work? Simply fire up the free Office Lens app on your Windows Phone and tell it you want to scan a business card. Take the photo (scan) and save it to OneNote. Here’s what I ended up with when I scanned my own business card.


In OneNote (either directly on the phone or back on your PC – once OneNote syncs) you get the full picture of the business card at the bottom of the OneNote page, but it creates a section of formatted text above the image which extracts the main details from the business card and creates hyperlinks to call, email or open website addresses. Pretty cool.

The awesomeness doesn’t stop there. Embedded in the OneNote page is a .vcf file “BizCard”.


Click on the “BizCard” file and a full Outlook Contact profile is composed with all the details filled out ready to save.


The screenshots above are from OneNote Desktop on my PC, but you get similar functionality directly on your phone. You can see the “BizCard” link and pressing it composes a new contact directly on your phone with all the details filled out which you can then edit/change before saving. Now that is really cool.

I’m looking forward to the next SharePoint Conference when I come home at the end of the day with a wad of business cards in my pocket.

Here’s an official article about the feature

You can download the Office Lens Windows Phone app for free from the Windows Phone Store.

About Cameron Dwyer

Architect and developer at OnePlace Solutions. Passionate about delivering compelling solutions on the Office 365/SharePoint platform. Addicted to coffee.

Posted on December 12, 2014, in Office, Outlook, Windows Phone and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Completely agree. I’ve been using Office Lens to capture business cards for a long time and randomly noticed this the other day. OneDrive’s OCR for search feature was one thing, but this adds a whole new dimension to it. Awesome.


  2. Brian Dead Rift Webb

    Reblogged this on Brian By Experience.


  3. Thanks for the tip about the embedded bizcard file, I had not noticed that is was on the OneNote page😄


    • I thought it was a pretty cool feature too, it’s essentially the end goal of scanning a business card – just put it in my contacts. I’ve found it does a pretty amazing job of extracting all the contact details.


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