Aug 18, 2023

(+) Turn Your Phone or Tablet into a Scanner for Many Purposes

The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman. 

If you have a “smartphone” or a tablet computer with a camera, you already have a book and document scanner that is more than “good enough” for many purposes. All you need to do is to add some free software. The result is a device that can “scan” documents at the library or archives, can digitally save business cards, save receipts for income tax time, digitize all sorts of documents, and is useful for any other time you need to scan and save a copy for later without any fuss. In essence, your smartphone or tablet becomes a scanner that you can have with you all the time.

One app that may best be defined as a document management solution for mobile devices, starting from capturing information precisely to storing, sharing, annotating and managing documents for different purposes.  It not only creates images of the item you scan, but it also lets you enhance the scan result and auto-crop scanned photos. Unlike taking a simple picture of a document, one app will eliminate the unwanted “border” around a picture or document that typically shows in any image taken with a camera. You end up with just the desired document or picture, nothing more. 

The same app lets you save document scans in PDF or JPG formats. You can edit and manage documents anywhere an Internet connection is available, using a handheld device or a Windows, Macintosh, or Linux computer. Notes can be added to a document, and OCR scanning is also available free of charge. Documents saved in the cloud can be quickly searched, even if thousands of items are stored there.

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