The iPhone can be the handiest document scanner around, especially when you install a scanner app such as Scanner Pro. Using Scanner Pro is just like taking a picture of a document. In fact, using Scanner Pro reminds me of using one of these mini spy cameras from the movies to photograph documents.
Scanner Pro includes iCloud support, which enables you to synchronize your scanned documents with the iPad version of the app. It also includes the following features:
- Scans documents into Adobe PDF, and then you can add new scans, delete, or rearrange pages in the PDF
- Advanced image processing with automatic edge detection that lets you just tap on the screen to crop scan areas
- One touch document sending via email or printing
- Upload scans to Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, or a Web DAV enabled online storage
Get started with Scanner Pro
To get started:
- Purchase and download Scanner Pro from the App Store for $6.99 (USD)
- Tap Scanner Pro to open the application
- Tap OK if you want Scanner Pro to send you push notifications
- Optionally, choose to use iCloud with Scanner Pro
Scan a document with Scanner Pro
To scan a document:
- Tap Scanner Pro to open the app. Scanner Pro appears (Figure A) Figure A
- When you tap Add page from Camera, your iPhone camera will open (you should notice more gridlines across the camera screen than when you open up the regular camera)
- Manually position your camera over the document you want to scan, and use the gridlines to help line the document up for scanning (Figure B) Figure B
- Tap the camera icon, and hold the camera steady to take the picture
- Perform one of the following options:
- Tap Select All to include the full face of the document in your scan
- Manually crop the scanned image down to the information you want to include in the scan
- Tap Letter to specify the page size for the final scanned document
- Tap Retake if you want to scan the document again
- Tap Next, and the scanned document will appear on your iPhone screen (Figure C) Figure C
- You also have the following options to edit the scanned document's appearance:
- Tap the brightness icon (top left side) and adjust the color contras
- Tap the rotation icon (top right side) to rotate your document 90 degrees
- Tap Document to save the scan in one of the following formats:
- Tap Save to save the scanned document
Tap Add page from Camera.
The image is ready to scan.
A scanned document in Scanner Pro.
Manage scanned documents
Once you've saved a scanned document, Scanner Pro has some nice management features to help you keep your documents organized and options for getting them off your iPhone and into your normal workflow.
Rename a scanned document
Scanned documents have a meaningless file name when the scan completes. It's a good practice to give your scanned documents a descriptive file name so they don't get lost between your iPhone and PC.
To rename a scanned document:
- Place you cursor in the name field. Delete the file name and type in a more descriptive name
- Tap Done to confirm the file name change
Email a scanned document
To email a scanned document:
- When you tap Email, a blank email with the scanned document (saved as a PDF) will open on your iPhone
- Enter an email address, and write a message to the recipient
- Tap Send to send the email
Setup cloud storage
Scanner Pro has integration with popular cloud storage services and Evernote. Personally, I like to get certain scans off my phone and into Google Drive just for archival purposes, and so I recommend linking Scanner Pro to your favorite cloud storage service as well.
To setup cloud storage:
- Tap Settings
- Tap the cloud storage service that you want to connect to Scanner Pro
- Follow the prompts to login to the cloud service
Set auto upload
You have the option to auto upload all your scans to a cloud service. This saves you the trouble of having to do it manually, which makes practical sense.
To set auto upload:
- Tap Settings
- Tap Auto Upload
- Select one of the available services as your upload location
- Follow the directions to login and authorize access to your account
Set a password lock
Scanner Pro includes a Password lock feature. It's advisable to set a password lock if you scan documents with personal or financial information, like a business lunch receipt that you paid for with a personal credit card.
To set a password lock for Scanner Pro:
- Tap Settings
- Slide Password Lock to On
- Type in a password
- Confirm your password
- Tap Save to save the password
Is that a scanner in your pocket?
If you're a frequent traveler who needs a better option for capturing receipts and other documents, it's hard to go wrong with Scanner Pro. Have you tried Scanner Pro or another application to scan images and documents from your mobile device? If so, please share your experience in the discussion thread below.
Will Kelly is a freelance technical writer and analyst currently focusing on enterprise mobility, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and the consumerization of IT. He has also written about cloud computing, Big Data, virtualization, project management applications, Google Apps, Microsoft technologies, and online collaboration for TechRepublic and other sites. Will also works as a contract technical writer for clients in the Washington, DC area and nationwide. Follow Will on Twitter: @willkelly.