If you just got a new iPhone, or if you’ve had yours for a while, then you are likely already familiar with many of the more basic functions of which it and other Apple products are capable. Things like calling, texting, listening to music, and streaming movies are all taken for granted by iPhone owners these days. But what about functionalities like scanning documents? Did you know that your iPhone can do that too?
Some people aren’t aware of this function because it’s not something that they’re ever called upon to do. Recent versions of the iPhone are capable of it, though, so let’s talk about why you might need to use this feature and how to scan on iPhone.
When Might You Need to Scan Documents on an iPhone?
Document scanning on the iPhone is something for which you might not immediately see the need. Indeed, some Apple product users might own their iPhones for years and never use this feature.
Think about this scenario, though. Maybe you’re a real estate broker. You’re trying to arrange a sale between a home buyer and seller. The transaction cannot go through until you can prove to the buyer that the seller has agreed to a last-minute stipulation. They have decided to forego the home inspection to push the sale through, thereby beating out another interested party. You’ll need to scan a document with the buyer’s signature on it and send it to the seller immediately.
That is just one example, but there are many more. It could be that you’re a dog owner, and you’re trying to board your dog as you go on vacation. You’re boarding the animal at a facility where he has never stayed before. The facility will not allow the dog to stay there unless you can prove that he has had his rabies vaccination within the past year. You have a physical copy of the vaccination at home. By knowing how to scan on iPhone and then sending it to the facility, it saves you having to drive across town just to show it to them.
These are just a couple of examples, but there are literally dozens of other reasons you might need to scan something. When you pause to think about it, you’ll see how having this functionality on an iPhone is something that can be positively critical for certain professions and lifestyles.
Scanning Documents on an iPhone
As for how you go about executing this maneuver, it is not particularly difficult, even for those who are not very tech-savvy. The first thing of which you need to be aware of is that you must be running iOS 11 or later on your iPhone. This will be the case for most people already, as several versions of iOS 13 have been released to this point. If you’re running an earlier version than 11, though, you’ll need to make the upgrade before doing a document scan. Once you’re running an appropriate iOS, follow these steps to learn how to scan on iPhone.
- Go the Notes app and open a new or existing note.
- Hit the + icon. Then, tap Scan Documents.
- Place the document in the view of the camera. It’s best to lay it down on a flat surface, against a contrasting color.
- Use the Shutter button to execute the scan. You can also use either the Volume Up or the Volume Down buttons.
- If you feel like you haven’t been able to capture the whole document, like if it’s a larger blueprint, for instance, then you can adjust the scan’s corners by dragging. Just tap Keep Scan as you do it to pick everything up.
- When you are finished scanning, hit Save. If there are additional pages or documents, hit Continue.
That’s all there is to it. The scanned document should now be with your other pictures and videos. If you look at the scan and you feel that it didn’t come out as well as it might have, then you can always redo it.
Additional Tips for Scanning a Document with an iPhone
This is a feature that works well with virtually any size of the document. However, it is particularly useful for larger ones, like construction blueprints or furniture assembly instructions. You can unfold the document, lay it down, flatten it out, then adjust the frame of the scanner by dragging it.
Think about the light source that you are using. The best scans are those that you take in well-lit areas. If you’re outside and you’re trying to scan a document on a cloudy day, then try to figure out a place indoors you can set up the shot. Try to think like a professional photographer. The camera in iPhones, or the multiple cameras in the iPhone 11, are extremely high quality, but you have to be strategic in your use of them.
If you’re not getting the shot that you want, some other options would be to try some different filters and to use the camera flash. That might help if there isn’t somewhere indoors you can take the document.
Editing Scanned iPhone Documents
Also, don’t assume that you need to send a picture of a document to someone as-is once you scan it. There are several editing features that are worth learning. By tapping a scanned document, you can bring up the editing toolbar at the bottom of the iPhone’s screen. This enables you to scan additional documents, crop, rotate, or change the filter.
Once you have gotten the scanned picture to where you want it to be, it’s time to share it with the recipients for whom it was intended. Once you hit the Share button, you can do a markup or a markup as a PDF. You can share, but you can also print or copy if there’s a reason for you doing either of those things. Maybe you need a physical copy of the scanned documents for your records. This comes into play often if the document is of a legal nature.
The more you play around with this technology, the more you may come to enjoy it. Scanning a document with your phone hardly seems like an artistic endeavor. However, the staging of the shot, the editing of it, and the redaction of whatever parts you want to obscure can be fun to learn. It’s another tool that you can add to your repertoire with the iPhone. You might find yourself going out of your way to creating situations in your life to use it once you have fully mastered the technique.