Dropbox scans sticky-notes and searches your receipts

Sticky notes

Dropbox has found a way to upload all your sticky notes and whiteboard scribblings into its cloud, as it expands its feature set to become more useful to businesses.

The collaboration firm’s new document scanning tool lets you scan and organise all your jotted ideas with the mobile app, so you can store them in place.

Matt Pan, Dropbox product manager, told Cloud Pro: “A lot of work still happens with tools like sticky notes and whiteboards.

“With document scanning, users can see and organise their notes in an end to end seamless experience. It’s really valuable if you are on the go and you need to scan documents.”

What’s more, Dropbox’s scan feature captures letters with optical character recognition (OCR), which means scanned documents become searchable.

“For Dropbox for Business users they already use text search but we are extending it to include files like blueprints,” Pan said. “It’s really crucial for overall collaboration. Another important use case is for businesses who travel or real estate teams who need to see a lot of documents.”

Dropbox is trying to make its services for business-friendly, and has launched other new features alongside document scanning.

One is the ability to create Microsoft Word documents inside your mobile app, allowing you to siply click on a Plus button at the bottom of your screen to create new Word, PowerPoint or Excel files directly from your mobile device.

Pan said: “You can create an Office file, give it a name and location, open it in PowerPoint mobile and the changes you make there all save directly back to Dropbox.”

Another useful addition for businesses is better control over version history, allowing you to look at all previous versions of a file to find your favourite.

“Our users love the ability to rewind to old versions and Business customers have unlimited version history,” Pan said. “We have rethought the whole process of recovering versions.”

There's also more granular sharing controls, as Dropbox now allows you to share files with specific people who must log in to see it, while view-only sharing folders are now available to all, after being previously limited to Pro and Business accounts.

“We’re bringing the sharing permissions we see in the folder level to the file level,” Pan said. “It’s really valuable for companies who do a lot of external collaboration.”