Android

A scan-to-PDF tool for Android that's worth its weight in data

Jack Wallen shows you how to create easy PDF documents while on-the-go with Quick PDF Scanner.

Quick PDF Scanner

There are plenty of scanning apps out there and plenty that do a great job of scanning to PDF. The problem with many of these apps is that they rely heavily on your ability to do a good job of snapping a photo of the image you want to import into a PDF. Snap a crooked shot or one that's out of perspective, and you'll wind up sending off a less-than-professional document. That's all fine and good if you can take perfect shots of your documents every time. But for those times when you can't, you'll be glad you have Quick PDF Scanner.

This particular take on the PDF scanner has two new tools -- for cropping and perspective -- that help you get perfect pages in your documents every time. No more having to re-take shots because the image was out of perspective or didn't take up the whole screen. Quick PDF Scanner also features:

  • Batch scanning for multi-page documents
  • Ability to zoom in or out for detailed review
  • Camera grid during scanning (can be enabled/disabled)
  • Different scene and focus modes for best document scanning
  • Various picture sizes supported
  • Page rotation
  • Configure the flash when scanning
  • Set image capture orientation
  • Configurable color effects, antibanding, white balance, and exposure compensation

Needless to say, if you're looking for a killer scanner app, Quick PDF Scanner might be the one. Let's install it and take a closer look at how to put it to use.

Installation

The installation of the app is simple. There are two different versions:

  • Free: Ad-based
  • Premium: $4.99/yearly

What's odd about this is that I have yet to find any advantage to purchasing the Premium version. It seems to only remove the ads -- no unlocking of hidden features. So, clearly the free version is what you want (especially considering the subscription model pricing for the Premium). With that said, the installation steps are as follows:

  1. Open the Google Play Store on your Android device
  2. Search for Quick PDF Scanner
  3. Locate and tap the version by Mobile Systems Inc
  4. Tap Install
  5. Read the permissions listing
  6. If the permissions listing is acceptable, tap Accept

Once it's installed, you'll find a launcher on your home screen. If not, check the app drawer. Tap that launcher to open Quick PDF Scanner.

Usage

The gist of using Quick PDF Scanner is the same as any other app of its ilk. The difference is that, after you take a shot of an image, the editing tool automatically pops up to allow you to crop it (Figure A).

Figure A

Figure A

Using Quick PDF Scanner on a Verizon-branded LG G Pad.

From the cropping tool, you can drag the handles around to resize the image. If you need to change the perspective of the image, tap the grid button in the right side of the tool bar. This will switch the editing tool to the perspective mode where you can then straighten out the image (Figure B) by dragging the corners until the image perspective is just right.

Figure B

Figure B

Using the perspective mode on a scanned image.

The batch scanning feature is also very handy. You don't actually have to do anything to enable batch scanning, you just snap a shot of a document and then snap another shot. Continue snapping shots until you've taken a picture of every page necessary to be saved in a single PDF. Once you're done with that, tap the tiny square in the upper left corner to begin editing (cropping) the images.

Editing will begin with the first image you snapped. After that image is cropped, tap the checkmark in the upper right corner and the window will then shift to display all the images in the current scan. To crop the next image, you must select it, tap the menu button (three dots in the lower right corner), and then tap Crop. Repeat this action until you've cropped all the images in the scan.

When you're satisfied with the cropping of all images, go back to the window that displays all the images in the current scan, tap the menu button, and tap Save as PDF. This will save the file in a folder named Quick PDF.

You can batch export to PDF easier than you might expect... once you know how. From the main window (Figure C), tap the left edge of the file to select it (it'll be highlighted in blue when selected). Select as many as you want to export, tap the menu button, and then tap Export PDF. When the processing is complete, all PDF files will be saved in the same Quick PDF folder.

Figure C

Figure C

Selecting multiple files for batch export.

If you're looking for a scanner app to help you create quick and professional PDF documents while you're on-the-go, you'll be hard pressed to find a better app than Quick PDF Scanner. Give it a try and see if it doesn't become a must-have addition to your mobile office.

How do you deal with documents when you're away from your desktop? Do you scan? If so, what is your go-to, mobile document management tool? Let us know in the discussion thread below.

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

3 comments
rensmaag
rensmaag

I have been using Tiny Scan Pro. The people that need to read my documents are much happier now that I am sending them PDF's instead of pictures.

dunhen
dunhen

But what about OCR - the whole point of scanning and saving as pdf - for later text (recognised) searches. Otherwise just leave as picture - I'm missing something here...

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