The expression “scanning documents” used to refer to wasting an absurd amount of time in front of a massive computer, waiting for it to turn an actual sheet of paper into a digital file. However, we live in the mobile era, where a handset can do almost everything. And searching text-searchable documents with nothing more than your phone’s camera is ridiculously easy. In this guide, you are going to learn how to scan documents on iOS 14 and iOS 13 (iPhone 12, iPhone 11, iPhone X and etc).
Meanwhile, Apple’s Notes app gets better every year, and the ability to browse documents inside the app on iOS is now better than ever. We’ll look at how this useful function works after the break. We’ll also have a peek at scanning documents through the Files app directly.
Apple has done an amazing job of text scanning in Notes. It is easy to use and works admirably. I like being able to sync my scans through all of my Apple devices, and sharing scans with or without annotations is easy.
So, here we are going to show you 2 different methods to scan documents on your iPhone running on iOS 14 and iOS 13 without any third-party scanner apps:
Method 1: Scan Documents on iOS 13 & 14 using 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 scan documents on iPhone using the Notes app:
- Tap and hold the Notes app and then select Scan Document.
- Line up the document you want to scan. Tap the shutter button if the scanner doesn’t automatically scan the document. Repeat this step for every document you want to scan.
- Tap Save after you’ve scanned all of the necessary pages. The button will have a count of how many pages you scanned.
Method 2: Scan a Document with Files App
The Files application in iOS 13 and iOS 14 makes scanning documents and saving them on your device a breeze. Without having to lug all around, you can scan receipts or sign and scan papers. Simply ensure that your iPhone and PC are still wired to iCloud and that you can reach your iCloud Drive.
Here’s how to scan documents on iPhone (iOS 14 & 13) using the Files app:
- Open the Files app on your iPhone or iPad.
- On the Browse screen, tap the ellipsis button select Scan Documents from the pop-up menu.
- By default, the camera will try to detect a document in the viewfinder and automatically capture it. If you don’t want this to happen, tap Auto in the top-right corner of the camera interface to change to the Manual setting.
- Focus the camera on your document, making sure the yellow box is lined up with the edges of your document. Tap the camera shutter button to snap a photo.
- The scan is to your liking and you don’t want to scan any more pages, tap Done, then tap Save when you’re returned to the scanning interface. If you want to try the same scan again, choose Retake.
Using the Notes and Files app on an iPhone or iPad running iOS 13 or iOS 14, you can scan documents. After saving the image file, you can use it much like every other scanned text. Send it as an attachment to an email or as a text message by opening it in your Mail app. Whatever you use it for, you can relax that you didn’t have to sort out how to use your office’s clumsy scanner. There is a range of hidden features on the iPhone, including a virtual magnifying glass and a calculator backspace shortcut.
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