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We explain how to scan a document with an iPhone

In the past, in the office it was usual to see both a printer and a scanner on the desk next to the computer to scan. Today the scanner is unnecessary if you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. The ability to scan the iPhone on the fly can be achieved with minimal configuration, and you don't even have to buy or install a special application. You can do everything with the native applications on your device. We explain below how to scan a document with an iPhone easily and quickly.

Use the Files application

With iOS 13, scanning documents through your phone is very easy thanks to the iPhone Files application. You can scan receipts or sign documents and scan them immediately without having to take a paper copy home for. Just make sure you are connected to iCloud and can access your iCloud Drive from your device and your desktop. We show you how to start.

  1. Locate the Files application on your phone. In it you can see all the iCloud files, in the same way as on your Mac.
  2. Create a specific folder for your scans if you want them all in one place.
  3. From this folder, slide down slightly from the top until you can see the three dot icon in the upper left corner.
  4. Click on the three dots icon, then Scan documents to activate the camera.
  5. Place the document on a surface and the phone on it until the Cmara application recognizes it: you can tell if it has been recognized when the document is highlighted in blue. Most of the time, the application will take the photo automatically, but you can press the shutter button in case it does not identify the document.
  6. Press the Save and upload the new scan button in your scan folder, where it will be visible everywhere you can access iCloud. From there, you can select the document to rename it.

After the camera scans the first page, you see an indication that says Ready for the next scan at the bottom, so simply place the second page to take it in the same way. Keep doing that until you finish all the scanning. Click save, and the scanned pages will be saved in a single document.

You don't have to worry about the correct scan angle because the application automatically corrects the view to flatten the scan.

After completing your scan, you have even more options, such as pressing the page in the lower left and using the trash can icon to remove a page completely or the Re-shoot button in the upper right. This allows you to adjust a single page in a series without having to start a multi-page scan again. You can further trim or modify the edges of the document, use a filter or rotate it so that it looks exactly as you want.

Use the Notes application

The native notes application on the iPhone has a scanning feature that you can access whenever you create a new document. We explain how to do it.

  1. Open or create a new note.
  2. Touch the Camera icon to scan documents.
  3. Place the document on the surface and place the camera of the device on it.
  4. If the device is in Automatic mode, the application will automatically scan the document by highlighting it in yellow, and the application will apply flash according to the lighting conditions.
  5. Press the filter control to adjust the scan in color, black and white and grayscale.
  6. You can scan manually by touching the shutter button.
  7. Move the corners to adjust the scan to fit the page, if necessary, or to scan only a part of the page you want.
  8. Click on scan.
  9. Add more pages to the document if there are several pages and click on Save when you are finished.

When you finish scanning, you can still make adjustments with the filter, crop or rotate, or discard.

Use continuity camera

Continuity Camera is a function in MacOS and iOS that allows you to open the camera on your iPhone (or other iOS device) from a nearby Mac, and then transfer that photo or scan to an open Mac document. The continuity camera works in a way native with Finder, Notes, Mail, Messages, TextEdit and Keynote 8.2, Numbers 5.2 and Pages 7.2 or later. It is available with MacOS Mohave and iOS 12 or later, and both your Mac and iPhone must have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled and log in to iCloud with the same Apple ID, along with two-factor authentication. We explain how.

  1. Open any of the compatible applications on your Mac.
  2. Hold down the Control key or right-click on the Mac document or window where you want your scan to appear, and select Scan documents, or in the Finder, select Import from iPhone> Scanning documents.
  3. Place the document in front of the camera lens on your iPhone or iPad and wait for the process to finish. If you have to manually capture a document, use one of the volume buttons.
  4. Drag the corners to adjust the scan to fit the page, or to capture only the part of the document you want, and then touch Keep scan.
  5. Add additional documents to the document or touchsave when you're done.

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