Scan Documents with your i-Phone

As many of us are working from home these days, sooner or later you’ll find the need to scan a document and send it to someone at another location (I’m guessing most of you do not have fax machines in your house).  If you’re like me, you’ve likely used your phone once or twice to email or text a jpeg photograph of a document page.  It probably didn’t turn out great, did it?

This thirty-year veteran of the information technology field finds himself learning much from young people these days.  Yesterday was no different.  I was home after work no more than 15 minutes, about to show my 18 year old daughter my blog post about Audio Conferencing, when I happened to take interest in what she was doing.  As you might have guessed by now, she was scanning many pages of homework with her i-Phone and about to upload it to her teacher.  Needless to say, I became dis-interested with my now seemingly boring blog post, and instead, more curious about the application she was utilizing.  “No big deal dad, we do this stuff all the time!”

How to Use Apple’s Notes App to Scan Multi-Page PDFs:

  1. “Notes” is one of the standard apps that comes as a pre-installed i-Phone App.  If it is not on your phone, you can install it from the App Store.  Like most iPhone apps, this program has been greatly improved as new versions of the app have been released.  Make sure you have the latest update so you can take advantage of all of the features listed below.
  2. Open your Notes app from your iPhone.
  3. Create a new Note by touching the note button in the lower-right corner of your screen.  You should see a camera icon close to the middle of the screen.  Touch the camera icon.
  4.  Next, select “Scan Documents”.  Be ready with your pages because the scanning will happen quickly.
  5. You should stack your pages on a flat surface such as a counter-top.  It is best to use a contrasting color for your surface.  For example, if your pages are white, you could use a wooden table.  This will allow the app software to automatically determine the page boundaries (similar to your mobile bank’s check-scanning app).
  6. One-by-one, the app will snap a scan of your pages.  when it detects the page boundaries, the page will turn yellow on your phone screen.  Be ready to line up the next page to be scanned.
  7. When you’re done scanning, your multi-page image will display on your screen.  Use the output icon (upper-right) to send your image to your favorite cloud-based file store, or email it to someone.  I used Dropbox for Business.
  8. I like this app because it allows you to save all of the pages of a document to a single multi-page PDF file in the standard aspect ratio for a document.  It also keystones the images automatically for nice straight sides (much better than those jpeg photos I used to take).

opens in a new windowHere’s a link to a sample document that I scanned using the Notes App.  The total time starting with accessing the scanning app, until the three page PDF showed up in my Dropbox folder on my my desktop computer was 28 seconds!

You can also use the Files app on i-Phone to create a somewhat similar scanned document.  I hope this helps!