Your smartphone already takes on many different roles, so why not add scanner to the list? Using document scanning apps, you can quickly and easily use your phone’s camera to translate physical document into a digital one. Even better, these apps don’t have the cost and bulk of a physical scanner.
Here are a few apps to try if you’re looking for a way to scan documents sans scanner (say that five times fast!)
Adobe Scan is consistently ranked as one of the best document scanning apps out there. It’s not all hype—the app has a lot going for it. Scan is free, integrates with other Adobe products (which all COD staff and faculty have access to for free—ask IT!), and is very easy to get up and running with. To use, you’ll capture an image of your document with your phone camera, and then you’ll be able to choose file dimensions, rotate, crop, and edit colors. Because it’s easily integrated with Acrobat and Fill & Sign, two other Adobe products, it makes it effortless to edit, share, annotate, and sign any of the documents you scan.
Another great option for document scanning is Genius Scan. It has some great features like page detection, perspective correction, legibility enhancement, and image enhancement. It also allows you to batch scan, making it possible to scan entire books or articles in seconds. Like many other apps, it also has cloud integration, so that you can easily share and store your files.
While the weird name might have you spending several minutes figuring out how to pronounce it correctly, the app itself is a snap to install and use. It’s also incredibly robust, with the ability to recognize 193 languages, both printed and handwritten text, and output your scans into 12 different file formats, including DOCX, PDF, and TXT. Even better, it has annotation tools built in and allows you to easily email or upload it to Dropbox, Evernote or your iCloud Drive.
While more targeted towards the business user, CamScanner can still be a good option for the casual user as well. The app allows you to take a photo with your phone camera, turns the scanned document into a PDF file which is then automatically uploaded to cloud services such as Box, Google Drive, DropBox, OneDrive, and more. You can invite others to view documents and annotate them with the app’s built in tools as well.
For those who want to keep their documents in the Office suite of products, Microsoft also has an app for document scanning called Lens. Lens is designed to take images of whiteboards, notes and documents that can then be saved as PDF, Word, or PowerPoint files. Once files are created, they can easily be stored or shared via OneNote or OneDrive. Even better, it’s free to use and is innately integrated in the Office 365 Suite.
These are hardly the only document scanning apps out there (you can even scan documents using Google Drive) but these are a great place to get started if you’re looking for an inexpensive and fully featured option.