Our mobile devices have usurped the functions of many other gadgets, including clocks, calculators, and MP3 players. But did you know that your iPhone and iPad can also scan documents and send them as PDFs?
For most of us, owning an actual scanner is a waste of time, money, and space. The ability to point your phone at an item and produce an instant capture is extremely useful and diminishes the need for extra tech.
On top of that, being able to quickly save or send that file as a PDF makes old-timey scanners seem obsolete—and perhaps they are.
Let’s discuss how you can use your iPhone or iPad to scan a document and save it as a PDF.
How to scan documents using the Notes app
Before you even consider scanning a document, you should first place the item in a favorable position.
For example, if the doc you want to capture is mostly white, you should place it on a darker, contrasting surface. Because iOS automatically detects your documents, attempting to camouflage them will result in confusion and unpredictable outcomes.
Here’s how to scan a document using the Notes app on your iPhone or iPad:
Open the Notes app on your iOS device
Tap the Compose icon to create a new note
Tap the Camera icon
Select Scan Documents
Frame your document with the camera, and the screen will flash yellow when the scan completes
Tap Save when you’re happy with your scans and choose a destination to export as a PDF
Your device will continue to capture documents until you cancel the process, which is handy when scanning multiple items.
If you want to manually adjust the area scanned, you can tap the Large round button at the bottom of the screen and drag the corner circles on your document to the appropriate positions.
You can also review and edit any captures by tapping the thumbnail of the latest scan. From here, you can make alterations, opt to Retake the picture, or tap Done to exit.
Save or send scanned images as PDFs in iOS
If you have saved scans in your Notes app, you can share them as PDFs at any time. Here’s how:
- Open the Notes app on your iOS device and select the note that contains your scans
- Tap the scanned document
- Then, tap the Share icon
- Select how you want to share the document and complete the process
When exporting from Notes as a PDF, you’ll need to ensure that you open the scanned image before tapping Share. Attempting to share the note itself will save the file in the incorrect format.
When sharing, you can either opt to send the file to someone or store it in another app or folder on your device. The choice is yours.
Your iPhone has replaced the traditional scanner
Because scanning documents with your iPhone or iPad is easy, proponents of traditional scanning methods have a difficult argument to make.
Sure, an old-timey scanner may produce superior results when capturing photographs and attempting to achieve perfect flatness, but most of us aren’t looking for those kinds of outcomes.
In many cases, bypassing the iOS scan feature completely and simply snapping a shot of a document at a questionable angle in poor lighting is good enough.
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