A Complete Guide On How To Scan A Document Using Your Phone

Document scanning refers to the process of using a scanner to convert paper documents into digital images. Documents, after being scanned, can be saved digitally to picture or PDF formats and can be shared online via drag-and-drop into email applications or image processing systems.

Handling documents, nowadays, is quite important and unavoidable. Sure a document scanner is still a great option if you frequently need to scan a large number of documents, but if you only have a couple of documents to scan frequently, using your phone in such a case makes the work easier.

It is preferable to keep a copy of your files with you all the time. It is quite remarkable that our smartphones have simplified a lot of complex tasks. Apart from taking photos, listening to music, calling, etc., the camera of your cell phone can also be used to scan documents into PDF Format. It can be quite convenient in situations where you do not have access to a document scanner or you simply do not want to use one, since you can scan a document using a phone.

Since the working of iOS and Android are different, here is what we are going to discuss on how to scan a document on both these operating systems. 

Scanning a document on iOS:

Updated features in iOS will allow you to scan documents using your phone’s camera and convert it automatically into a PDF format. 

Below, we will discuss the two most common, easy, and cost-free methods of scanning a document on iOS. If you are not aware of these features or you struggle to scan a document using a phone, go through the following points mentioned below.

1. Using the Notes app

scan a document in iphone

The Notes app is quite useful. You can use it to not only scan documents but also add signatures on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

  • Open the Notes app on your phone. It is preinstalled on your iPhone. If the Notes app is not installed, you can download it from the App Store, for free. 
  • Next, tap the camera icon that is situated above the keyboard and select the option “scan documents”.
    [ Please note: Users having iPhone that run on an older version of iOS, need to tap the plus sign icon here.] 
  • Position the phone camera over the document such that it fits in the frame.
  • The app will automatically capture an image. 
  • If you want to capture the image manually, you will have to disable the automatic shutter. For disabling the shutter, tap on ‘Auto’  in the top-right corner to change it to manual.
  • After you have scanned your document, you can crop it by dragging the handles.
  • If you want, you can also change the color of the document.
  • You can further scan more documents if you need them. Otherwise, tap on the ‘Done’ option when you are finished. Your document will be scanned and saved. 

(Also read Steps to create an Apple ID for a child ) 

2. Using Adobe Scan

Adobe Scan is a document scanning app. It lets users send the scanned PDF files to others through emails, save them to the Adobe free cloud hosting or other third-party cloud services like OneDrive, Dropbox, etc. 

It is a very accurate PDF scanner. The recent updates have improved the capture ability. It is capable of automatically capturing, cropping, and scanning documents. It’s easy to operate without much need to learn. 

  • Firstly, you will have to install this free scanner app from Apple App Store on your iPhone. Next, you will have to create an Adobe ID to use the app. 
  • You will need to run the PDF scanner app on your iPhone. 
  • After that, the camera of your iPhone will automatically start so you can capture the image to scan your document.
  • You can preview, rearrange, crop, rotate, and adjust the color of the scanned document manually.
  • Your scanned document will be saved in a PDF format on your iPhone. 

Scanning a document on Android:

On an Android operating phone, scanning a document is exactly like taking a snap with the back camera of your phone – easier and simpler. You can flexibly use your Android phone’s camera to scan documents and convert them into a PDF. 

Again, below, we will discuss the two most common, easy, and cost-free methods of scanning a document on an Android operating phone. 

(Also read 5 Ways To Flash TWRP Recovery On Android Phone )

If you are not aware of these features or you struggle to scan a document using phone, here’s what we have got for you:

1. Using Google Drive

For scanning a document on an Android operating phone, you need a Google app drive.  Google offers google drive which is actually a very useful tool for scanning and managing documents. It has a very unique method for scanning documents through your Android operating phone’s camera and then saving them as PDF files. 

Here’s how to scan a document by using Google Drive:

  • For scanning any document through the Google Drive app, you need to open it and tap on the blue colored ‘Plus’ icon in the bottom-right corner.
  • Then, under the ‘Create New’ tab, you will have to select the ‘Scan’ option. 
  • You will need to place the camera of your phone over the document you need to scan. Then tap on the ‘Shutter button’ once you are ready.
  • Once the image has been captured, tap on the ‘Checkmark’ if you are satisfied, or else, tap on the ‘Back Arrow’ icon to recapture the image. 
  • If you need to scan more documents, tap on the ‘Plus’ icon, or tap on the ‘Save’ option to finish scanning. You can also crop the scanned document, rotate it, or change its color with the help of the available options in the app. 
  • Once you finish scanning your document, enter a file name for the new PDF and choose which folder you will like to save it in. Then select the ‘Save’ option.

Thus with this, your document will be scanned and saved as a PDF in the Google Drive app. 

2. Using Adobe Scan

Adobe Scan is a document scanning app that comes in two versions, free and premium. It has all the basic features in its free version. It’s easy to operate without much need to learn. If you haven’t registered for an Adobe ID, which is free of cost, you need to create one to use this app.

Here’s how to scan a document by using Adobe Scan:

  • Open the Adobe Scan app and login/ register with either a Google, Facebook, or Adobe ID.
  • When you’re ready to scan the document, tap on the screen or the shutter button. 
  • If necessary,  you can drag the handles to adjust the borders then tap on ‘Continue’.
  • The app will automatically take more scans if required. 
  • You can tap on the scan’s thumbnail option for editing and saving options. Here, you can rotate the document, crop it, change the color, and do a lot more. When you are finished scanning and making necessary changes, tap on the ‘Save PDF’ option, in the upper-right corner of the screen, to save it.

Google Drive, iOS Notes, Adobe scan, etc, have made it possible to scan a document using a phone. To scan something effortlessly and then sharing it with someone without the need for heavy machinery, not only saves money but also time.


“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” ~ Arthur C. Clarke

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