• Inside the overpacked Microsoft 365 app

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    ISSUE 20.14 • 2023-04-03 MICROSOFT 365 By Peter Deegan The Microsoft 365 app — formerly known as the Office 365 app — is what I call the Office “all-i
    [See the full post at: Inside the overpacked Microsoft 365 app]

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    • #2548525

      And you totally forgot to tell us that it costs only $39.95 per year


      • #2548534

        Not sure what you’re looking at; presumably not this?

        Download the free Microsoft 365 mobile app

      • #2548535


        What are you referring to costing $39.95 a year?  Offhand I can’t think of any Microsoft 365 plan at that price (M365 Personal is US$69.95 with occasional discounts).

        As ‘b’ said … the Microsoft 365 app is definitely free.

        Most Microsoft 365 plans will add some extra features to their mobile apps but otherwise the mobile apps are available to all devices.  Strictly speaking for all devices below 10.1″ screen size.

        Please let us know so we can clarify for you and anyone else on this forum.


        Peter Deegan

    • #2548536

      Apologies for a tiny ‘bludner’ in the article.

      Of course, it should say “But to get all the PDF powers …” — no idea where the ‘BNut’ came from.

      Peter Deegan

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2548561

      no idea where the ‘BNut’ came from.

      Yes you do. It came from the WNut. I’ve fixed it online.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2548721

      I’m interested in the Lens feature.  Actually, anything to get an editable text file from a printed page or from a microfilm image.  (My typing is bad!)  However, these images tend to be of poor quality.  Perhaps a pen scanner will help?  I am using MS Word files on OneDrive, accessed thru an old Chromebook.  Thanks for any suggestions.

      • #2549861

        Search for ‘Microsoft Lens’ in either the App Store or Google Play.

        It does a pretty good job of ‘image to text’ and the results are usually saved to OneDrive unless you choose otherwise.

        Or use the camera options in the Microsoft 365 app.

        Peter Deegan

    • #2549825

      Peter also mentioned a “Home Pane;” I have not been able to find it.  Did find a “Navigation Pane” though.  Where are these things hiding?  Thanks.

      • #2549855

        See Figure 1.

      • #2549862

        The Home pane is the one that will appear by default when you first open / login to the Microsoft 365 app.

        It depends on the device you’re using but on an iPhone (the only device I have to hand) there’s a Home button on the bottom row.  That row doesn’t appear in Fig 1 of the article because I wanted to show the Quick Capture options.  Here’s the bottom row as it appears in the iPhone app.

        The Create button, at right, opens the Quick Capture menu seen in Fig 1 – yes, the labels ‘Create’ and ‘Quick Capture’ don’t match like they should <sigh>.


        Peter Deegan

    • #2549999

      Peter,  Thanks, but it looks like my “problem” may be that I don’t have a smartphone, just this Win 10 desktop and the old Chromebook.  Tries before to get editable text from an image didn’t work, apparently because the image, (from 1890s printed pages) was so poor that it didn’t work.  Also, I haven’t found a OneDrive User’s guide; does one exist?


      • #2550267

        OneDrive is a cloud storage service, the scanning options are just a small side-benefit in some Microsoft mobile apps. If you don’t have a smartphone, the question is moot.  Of course, you can save scanned images to OneDrive, but that’s possible from any software because to OneDrive it’s just another image.

        Scanning from a smartphone app works OK for modern documents with recognizable fonts and clear contrast pages.  In other words, the sort of ‘easy’ task for modern systems.

        If you’re talking about old pages from more than a century ago, that’s probably another degree of difficulty.  For that kind of work, best to get a proper scanner and software.  Even then, as you say, the results might not be good.  At best, any OCR’d text will be a starting point for manual text editing.

        Scanners are fairly cheap these days.  FWIW, I like the Canon LidE range because they are small and most need only a single cable USB connection and power.

        Of course, many ‘all in one’ printers also include a scanning option.

        You might need a bigger scanning surface/glass, depending on the size of your pages.  I once needed a bigger scanner to capture old vinyl album covers — too wide for A4/Letter/Legal scanners.

        For scanning software, Win10/11 has basic scanning tools.

        There’s also the software that comes with the scanner (download from the makers web site, ignore any CD/DVD in the box).

        I think highly of VueScan https://www.hamrick.com/ which works for almost any scanner. Especially handy for older scanners no longer supported by the hardware maker.  Many, many options including OCR.

        Peter D/

    • #2550257

      I have an iPad and want to try the Microsoft 365 mobile app on it. I went to the Apple Store and ‘got’ it. I’m able to open it and have hit the ‘+’ for ‘Create’, have selected Word, and have selected ‘Blank document’, which says at the top, “To edit or save, sign in with a subscription.” I don’t have a subscription. I thought this is a free app! It doesn’t seem that way.

      In addition, although I have a blank document, there is no keyboard pop-up that allows me to enter anything. So, where is the pop-up keyboard? I’ve tapped here and there, but I see no keyboard or icon to access it. And, what good does it do to create something from a blank document when it’s not possible to save it or edit it, according to the notice at the top (assuming I find the keyboard)??

      • #2550264

        It depends on the screen size of your iPad – I suspect your iPad has a screen larger than 10.1″?  Microsoft defines any device with a screen larger than 10.1″ as a computer (not a portable device) which needs a Microsoft 365 license to work.

        That MS rule applies to all the Office apps, not just the Microsoft 365 app e.g. the separate Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps.

        The missing on-screen keyboard is, I suspect, linked to the licensing issue.  Without an M365 plan, the apps will only view documents not edit them.  Since there’s no editing areas available, a keyboard doesn’t appear … it’s not needed.  Show/hiding the on-screen keyboard is likely controlled by the Apple OS, not individual apps.

        Peter Deegan

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