Office Lens Offering Built-in Accessibility Gets Immersive Reader and Frame Guide

Office Lens enhancements offer visually impaired users better access to text and photos gets Immersive Reader and Frame Guide for iOS.

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Two new features Immersive Reader and Frame Guide for iOS, are available today Thursday Nov. 10 for Office Lens, expanding the toolbox from OneNote to OneNote Online, Word for the desktop and Word Online.

The Immersive Reader is now built directly into Office Lens, eliminating a step of inserting captured image into OneNote to take advantage of Immersive Reader. Now, today's update allow users to have the text read aloud at the speed of their choice and to increase the font size and spacing.

Second, a new tool called "Frame Guide" empower people with visual impairments to get an image of exactly what they're trying to capture is launched too. The tool uses Apple's Voice Over technology, to show uers "how to capture their desired content by telling the user to move back, to the right or in other directions to get the full page in the frame."

Frame Guide leverages learning from the work of the Seeing AI research project.

"Office Lens helps users by utilizing orientation detection and column recognition to transform text on a printed page into searchable and readable content."

Immersive Reader, if you don't know about it, "helps users to easily scan and read content, helping them move from the physical to digital world."

With it, you can 'reads text out loud with simultaneous highlighting that improves decoding, fluency and comprehension while sustaining focus and attention, increase or decrease fonts size. You can also optimizes font spacing in a narrow column view to improve reading fluency for users who suffer from "visual crowding" issues. Users can go back five words and forward one page in the content.

It also let users to control the speed of the voice reading back the words.

Get Office Lens with Frame Guide and Immersive Reader for free in the iOS App Store.

A new Office for Android Insider Preview build 16.0.7531.1002 as part of the November update released today and contains a number of new features:

Among others, users will now be able to turn datasets into maps in Excel. "15% of datasets are geographically-based," so Excel will now recommend a map instead of a chart for data that it recognizes as such, said Microsoft. This is available with Office 365 subscription.

Turn data into maps with Excel for Android Preview
Turn data into maps with Excel for Android Preview

Here's a full changelog:

  • Accessibility built right such as TalkBack, keyboard, and other assistive technology for creating, editing or presenting docs are built right in into Office apps.
  • more flexibility for storage and access to your Office files with Box, Egnyte, and ????.
  • Now get alert with sharing notifications for Word, PowerPoint and Excel.
  • Insert and edit hyperlinks in Excel worksheets and use display text to make them easier to read.

Interested in joining Office Insider program, sign up using the links on Google+ community.

You can download or update your Office apps diredtly with the following links: [Word, Excel, PowerPoint.]

Alerts in Office for Android Preview

Alerts in Office for Android Preview

Microsoft issued an update to its cloud storage app OneNote for Android version 4.6.1, that "automatically detect when you take photos of whiteboards and clean them up for bettter collaborate." It's available for OneDrive Consumer.

Users will also now get notified when a file is shared with you or a colleague edits a file you've shared with them in OneDrive for Business

Download the app manually from the Google Play App Stroe, or hit the update button inside the app.

Finally, the company is targeting group of users using Office 365 subscriber and who are not yet upgraded to Office 2016 with pop-up ads asking users to free upgrade their Office locally.

The options listed include: "upgrade," "later," and "see what's new." When you click later, the add dismisses temporarily. So, how get rid-off the ad permanently, towards this, Microsoft has published a cab file MicrosoftEasyFix20156.mini.diagcab, to turn off the notification. In the meantime, Microsoft is working to adjust the notification frequency, "The notification is meant to provide existing Office 365 subscribers who are using an older version of Office an easy way to upgrade to Office 2016," Microsoft explained.

"The team is actively working to identify the right frequency and are also evaluating ways to make adjusting the notification simple based on customer feedback," it added. In the meantime, "customers can turn off the notification by first clicking here. Then, in the File Download dialog box, click Run or Open, and follow the steps in the fix wizard." (via ZDNet)

You can download the MicrosoftEasyFix20156.mini.diagcab here.