How To Scan QR Codes Or Text With Your Windows Phone

Windows Phone has the built-in capacity to scan special barcodes, such as QR codes, and no third-party apps are required for this task. Also, you are able to scan text and translate it using the same feature. The procedure is really simple: just "point and shoot". In this article we will show you how to use this feature in a simple and efficient manner. Let’s get started:

NOTE: This tutorial works with Windows Phone 8.1.

What Are QR Codes?

QR codes or Quick Response Codes are square shaped images built from small black dots over a white background. You can find QR codes almost anywhere: on all kinds of websites, in newspapers or even while shopping in the supermarket. Scanning the codes may open a website, show contextual information about a product, display a business card, and so on.

How To Scan A QR Code On A Windows Phone Without Cortana

In Windows Phone 8.1, if Cortana is not available for your region, the procedure for scanning QR codes is the following:

Tap the Search button on your Windows Phone.

Next, tap the Vision icon, placed on the bottom of the Search screen.

Now, the camera will turn on. Point your smartphone at the QR code. Wait for it to focus, scan the code and display the result.

Lastly, tap the result to make Windows Phone display the information stored in the QR code.

If you want to see how it works by yourself, try the code below. The code acts as a shortcut to our website. Tap the result and our site will be loaded in Internet Explorer.

How To Scan QR Codes Using The Camera App From Windows Phone

If you have a Windows Phone 8.1 with Cortana and the stock Camera app, then use this procedure to scan QR codes:

Turn on the Camera app and tap the Lens button.

Tap Bing Vision and point your smartphone at the QR code. Wait for it to focus, scan the code and display the result.

Lastly, tap the result to make Windows Phone display the information stored in the QR code.

Test this feature scanning the QR code below. The code works as a shortcut to our website and it will be loaded in Internet Explorer.

How To Scan QR Codes With The Lumia Camera App

If you have a Windows Phone 8.1 with Cortana and the Lumia Camera app, then use this procedure to scan QR codes:

Open the Lumia Camera app and press the Settings button.

Now, in the General section, tap Lenses.

Now, tap Bing Vision point your smartphone at the QR code. Wait for it to focus, scan the code and display the result.

In the end, tap the result to make Windows Phone display the information stored in the QR code.

Test this feature scanning the QR code below. The code works as a shortcut to our website and it will be loaded in Internet Explorer.

How To Scan Text, Translate It Or Search the Web With Windows Phone

Windows Phone is also capable of scanning text using the phone’s camera. The scanned text can then be translated to another language or it can be used to perform searches on the web.

This is highly useful when you find yourself in a foreign country and you want to translate very quickly, something you see around you.

Scanning text is done the same as scanning QR codes. Open Bing Vision using any of the options.

Next, point the camera to the text you want to scan. Make sure the camera has time to focus on it, so the text will be visible as clearly as possible. Then, tap scan text.

Windows Phone identifies the blocks of text that were scanned and highlights them. Now, tap translate to translate the text.

Next, tap the language you wish to translate the text to.

Windows Phone automatically detects the language and translates the text to the language you chose. This is the final result:

You can test this feature by scanning the text in this article and translating it to another language.

You can tap on a block of text and it is added as a search term. Tap the other blocks of text you want to use in your search string. Then, tap Search and Bing will load an appropriate result.

Conclusion

Scanning QR codes and text is a very simple task, it can become really useful and you don’t have to install any other third-party apps. The translating tool can be really helpful if you’re in another country and you want to translate quickly, something you see around you. If you have questions regarding other Windows Phone features don’t hesitate to share them with us in the comments below.