Having the world at your fingertips has never been easier thanks to today’s technology. Unfortunately, you can’t always do everything with your smartphone. At times you’re forced to use clunky old technology, such as printers and scanners. How boring.
The good news is that when you need a document scanned, you can ignore that grumpy old scanner altogether. You can scan a document right from your iPhone using a few different apps. We show you how.
Use the Files app
With iOS 13, the Files app makes scanning documents and storing them on your phone extremely easy. You can scan receipts, or sign and scan documents without dragging it all home. Just make sure you are connected to iCloud and can access your iCloud Drive from both your iPhone and your PC. Here’s how to get started.
Step 1: Locate the Files app on your phone. That’s where you can view all of your iCloud files so you’re not dancing the document shuffle.
Step 2: With the app open, select the iCloud Drive location.
Step 3: Swipe down on the screen and tap the three-dot More icon.
Step 4: Select New Folder, name your folder Scan and then tap Done.
Step 5: From your new Scan folder, swipe down again to tap the three-dot More button and select Scan Documents to activate the camera.
Step 6: Position the document on a surface and hover the phone above it until it’s recognized by the Camera app. The document is highlighted in blue. Most often, the app will take the photo automatically, but there’s also a shutter button in case it doesn’t grab your document right away.
Step 7: Tap the Save button and your scan goes into the Scan folder, where it will be visible everywhere you can access iCloud. From there, you can tap the document to rename it.
Scanning multiple documents in sequence
Step 1: Arrange your documents in a stack so they’re scanned in order, one after the other.
Step 2: After the camera shoots the first page, the app reads Ready next scan along the bottom. Remove the first page so it can capture the second page.
Step 3: Repeat Step 2 until you finish all scanning.
Step 4: Tap Save and all your scanned pages will save to a single document. A badge will indicate how many pages are included.
Don’t worry about getting the scanning angle right, as the app will automatically correct the view to flatten the scan. When you view the finished scans, they will be properly aligned with a high-quality representation of the contents.
After completing your scan, there are even more options you can tweak. Just tap on the page at the bottom left and use the trash can icon to delete a page completely. The Retake button lets you fix a single page in a series without having to restart a multi-page scan. You can further crop or alter the document edges, use a filter, or rotate it so it looks exactly the way you want it.
Use the Notes app
The iPhone’s built-in Notes app has a special scanning feature that you can access whenever you create a new Notes document. Here’s how to do it.
Step 1: Open a note or create a new note.
Step 2: Tap the Camera icon to scan documents.
Step 3: Place your document on a surface and hover your device camera over it.
Step 4: If your device is in Auto Mode, the app will automatically scan your document by highlighting it in yellow. The app will apply flash depending on the lighting conditions. You can manually capture a scan by tapping the shutter button if the camera doesn’t automatically capture your document.
Step 5: Tap the filters control to fine-tune the scan for color, black and white, and grayscale.
Step 6: Drag the corners to adjust the scan to fit the page, if needed, or to scan only part of the page you want.
Step 7: Tap Keep Scan.
Step 8: Add more scans to the document if it’s a multiple page scan, and tap Save when you’re done.
When your scan is finished, you can still make filter, cropping, or rotating adjustments to it — or trash it.
Use Continuity Camera
Continuity Camera is a feature in MacOS and iOS that lets you launch the camera on your iPhone (or another iOS device) from your nearby Mac, and then transfer that photo or scan to an open Mac document.
Continuity Camera operates natively with Finder, Notes, Mail, Messages, TextEdit, Keynote 8.2, Numbers 5.2, and Pages 7.2 or later. It’s available with MacOS Mojave and iOS 12 or newer.
First, both your Mac and your Apple device must have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled. They also must be signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID, using two-factor authentication. Here’s how to scan using Continuity Camera.
Step 1: Open any of the supported apps on your Mac.
Step 2: Control-click or right-click in the Mac document or window and choose Import from iPhone or iPad followed by Scan Documents in the pop-up menu.
Alternatively, you can click File or Insert on the menu bar to access the scanning feature. It’s also located under Action in Finder and on the pop-up menu when you right-click (or Control-click) on the desktop.
Step 3: Place your document in front of the camera lens on your iPhone or iPad, then wait for the scan to finish. If you need to manually capture a scan, tap the virtual shutter button, or use one of the volume buttons.
Step 4: Drag the corners to adjust the scan to fit the page, or to capture only the part of the document you want, and then tap Keep Scan.
Step 5: Add additional scans to the document or tap Save when you’re done.