How to scan with a smartphone

Updated July 20, 2017

A smartphone can also be used as a scanner, which can potentially save a small business owner the cost of having to buy an extra piece of equipment in order to scan and send important documents. It's also extremely convenient in terms of portability, allowing for scanning, e-mailing and archiving information on the go.

Locate the icon that is used for buying apps on your phone's home screen. For example, iPhones have an app store located on the initial screen that appears during start-up.

Search for scanning software within your phone's app store. Noteworthy apps to look for are Scan2PDF, JotNot, DocScanner and ScannerPro. Purchase and install the app of your choice.

Start the app that you have purchased. From the home page, there will be an option to use your phone's camera to take a photograph of the document. Select this option.

Take a photo of the document. There will be an option to choose the parameters of the document and create the PDF. There may also be an option for the size of the document, such as "A4" or "Legal Letter."

Select the "Make PDF option" and choose a name for your file. Your document should now be available to e-mail or archive.


Before taking a picture of the document, make sure it is placed on an even surface with adequate lighting in order to avoid blurriness when the photo is taken. If the document is still blurry with adequate lighting, try to adjust the scanner's contrast settings to make the lettering clearer.

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About the Author

Esther Zinn began writing in 2003 for several nationally distributed print and digital publications. She has been published in "The Bay Area Reporter," "Shecky's Bar and Lounge Guide," "GO Magazine" and "CityRover New York." She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Arts from the New College of California, both in creative writing.