When your child is tired of making endless zoom calls and typing on screens, the Microsoft Office app for iOS and Android offers a break: kids can work on paper and you can submit their work electronically.
Microsoft launched its Office app for iOS and Android in February, a few weeks before the pandemic drove us all into the house. Who knew when my family huddled from home to work and study that the Office app would quickly become an indispensable tool for managing everyday document tasks for my kids and me.
Here are some quick tutorials on how to get things done with the Office app. But it’s amazing how much it can actually do! You can take a picture of a page of a book and use the Office app to automatically extract the text using optical character recognition. You can turn a photo into a PDF. You can make a PDF that you have already made. You can take a picture of a table and turn around The into an Excel spreadsheet or turn a document into a PDF, or and vice versa. Also, don̵
Use the Office app to scan your children’s homework
Your child’s teacher has likely already shown you one way to enter hand-drawn work: using the camera on the PC or Chromebook. At our school, students are asked to open their Google Doc, navigate to the Insert Picture icon on the toolbar, and take a photo from the camera facing the user. It’s simple, effective, but not always that clear.
If you want, you can use the Office Mobile App to do the same thing and it will look better. Open the Office app on Android and navigate to Actions Icon at the bottom of the screen.
You will see a whole list of interesting menu items. click Scan to PDF, a somewhat confusing name.
This brings you to a pretty conventional photo screen with some interesting options at the bottom. “Document” is selected by default. If you put your child’s worksheet on a table or bed, you will see a small spooky rectangle surrounding them. This is the Office app’s AI magic at work: it detects the edges of the document and aligns them so that your PDF file looks nice and tidy. In other words, don’t spend a lot of time aligning the frames of the document within the frame as the app will do it for you.
If you choose the Whiteboard option, you can take a photo of a piece of art hanging on the wall. Here too, Office makes it nice and tidy. Office saves the file as a PDF and is accessible from the main screen.
Office has the option to convert an existing photo (from your camera roll) to a PDF file. However, the image is only converted to a PDF file, without the AI snippets that the app otherwise offers. I just find it more effective to take a new shot when the original document is available.
How to sign a PDF from your phone
If your child receives a permit either by email or in person and you want to return it electronically, the Office app makes this easy too.
Do you have a printed document? Use the Scan to PDF feature above to turn it into a PDF document.
Do you have an electronic document, e.g. B. a Word or Google Docs file? If it’s a Google Docs file, save it in Word. Word files can be opened with the document to PDF conversion tool that is part of the Office mobile app you are using.
Once you have a PDF of your file, you should see one Sign a PDF Option in the Actions heading under Do more with PDFs Subheading.
The app opens your PDF file and you choose one approximately Place to add a signature. Don’t worry if the location isn’t accurate. Once you tap the location, a completely different window will open for you to add your signature. You can also save your signature.
Once you have entered your signature, the PDF file will open again and overlaid with a huge overlay of your signature. Press and zoom the signature to shrink and fit in place, then save the PDF.
How to send a PDF from the Office app
On the main screen of the Office app, you can share a document (text or email), including the PDFs you just created. But what if you need to move the file to your or your child’s computer to upload it? The Office app also anticipated this.
The Transfer files The option at the top of the Actions page will take you to transfer.office.com, a website that asks you to scan a code with your phone to authenticate a transfer. Since it’s web-based, whether the laptop is a Chromebook or a Windows PC, you should be able to transfer the PDF. On your phone you need to choose Send or Receive to make sure the file is going in the right direction. Find the file in File Explorer and save it where it needs to be.
How to use your phone as an OCR to scan text
There’s another fun trick that can benefit older kids who have to work with a printed textbook and take notes: turn your phone into an optical character recognition (OCR) device. We don’t scan a page like your scanner – we read and copy the text on the page.
To start the process, go to Actions Page again and select the Image to text Possibility. This works on a live photo or a saved image.
Office does this pretty well, although you’ll always want to proofread it. You will get better results if the page is flat and well-lit.
We are all trying to manage the pandemic, work from home and give distance learning when we have school-age children. Microsoft’s Office app for Android and iOS is a handy way to save a little time and effort. Use it!