Connect with us

How-To

How to scan documents as PDFs on iPhone and iPad

Scanners are obsolete. Use your iPhone to scan documents and send PDF versions.

iphone on table showing apps
Image: Unsplash

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

nots app ios logo
Image: KnowTechie

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:

  1. Open the Notes app on your iOS devicenotes app on iphone

  2. Tap the Compose icon to create a new notehow to create a new note on iphone

  3. Tap the Camera iconcamera icon for saving pdfs ios

  4. Select Scan Documentsscan documents screen in notes app on iphone

  5. Frame your document with the camera, and the screen will flash yellow when the scan completesios document scanner

  6. Tap Save when you’re happy with your scans and choose a destination to export as a PDFhow to save a pdf file in notes app

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

sending a pdf on iphone
Image: KnowTechie

If you have saved scans in your Notes app, you can share them as PDFs at any time. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Notes app on your iOS device and select the note that contains your scans
notes app on iphone
Image: KnowTechie
  1. Tap the scanned document
notes app images
Image: KnowTechie
  1. Then, tap the Share icon
iphone pdf share
Image: KnowTechie
  1. Select how you want to share the document and complete the process
notes app showing pdf file
Image: KnowTechie

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.

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

Editors’ Recommendations:

Comments

More in How-To