Whenever I'm on the road and need to scan important documents, like signed contracts, I typically don't have access to a desktop scanner or all-in-one printer. Considering how versatile smartphones like the iPhone have become, it's good to know that you can augment scanning and faxing capabilities with software applications. CamScanner+ is available for iOS and CamScanner (License) is available for Android devices -- and both cost $4.99 (USD). This app has saved my butt on many occasions, and the steps for getting faxes out couldn't be easier. First, let's take a look at the app fundamentals.
CamScanner can perform the following tasks:
- Scan documents via the smartphone camera
- Fax scanned documents to any fax number (even internationally)
- Optical Character Recognition technology to make PDF text searchable
- Document touch up to correct uneven lighting and textual distortions
- Wi-Fi PDF sharing
Now, let's take a look at the user interface. The steps highlighted below are for iOS, but they should be the same for Android, albeit with slight UI differences.
Send a fax
When you're ready to send a document to a client or back to the office for safekeeping, follow these simple steps to fax it with CamScanner+:
- Align the document of your choice on a well-lit surface, start the CamScanner+ app on your iOS device, and then tap the button that looks like a camera in a folder (Figure A). Figure A
- Once the camera is active, align the device with the document as steadily as possible, and then snap a picture of your document. If you want help, you can also enable the grid feature for added precision. Figure B
- With the newly acquired document image in hand, the touch-up tool will appear, allowing you to crop the document (Figure C) or alter the lighting (Figure D). When you're done with each step, simply press the check mark icon in the bottom right corner. Figure C
- Once you've applied any edits and accepted the changes, you'll be dumped into the document property area. From here, press the up arrow icon on the bottom right corner of the screen (Figure E). Figure E
- When the Actions menu appears on the screen, touch the Fax button to open the fax document portal (Figure F). Figure F
- Input the destination country and fax number, including the page range (Figure G). At this point, if you don't have any credits to send faxes, CamScanner+ will redirect you to a page where you can buy additional credits at $.99 cents per page. Figure G
Tap the button that looks like a camera in a folder.
The camera mode in CamScanner+.
The flexible crop tool for roping in all of the text.Figure D
When in doubt, use Magic Color to fix your document contrast.
The document page area of CamScanner+.
The Actions menu is your document's final destination.
Sending faxes has never been easier.
That's it! You've sent your first fax successfully.
For what the software can do, I think CamScanner+ is a great buy and worth adding to your library. Do you send faxes from your smartphone or other mobile device? If so, which application(s) do you recommend? Share your experience in the discussion thread below.
An avid technology writer and an IT guru, Matthew is here to help bring the best in software, hardware and the web to the collective consciousness of TechRepublic's readership. In addition to writing for TechRepublic, Matthew currently works as a Customer Success Professional for Ultimate Software in Santa Ana, California.