Scan and email a document - Simple Steps

“Scanning” your phone documents and photos is a mixed bag. Fortunately, there are very easy ways to scan items and get good results reliably.

Certainly, a dedicated scanner is still great to use if you often have to scan a large number of documents, but using your phone works great too if you only have a few documents to scan from time to time. Here’s what for Android and iOS we recommend.

The best way to scan Android documents: Google Drive

  1. The best way to scan documents using an Android device is by using the Google Drive app, which is now pre-installed in just about every Android device.
  2. By pressing “+” in the lower right corner of the home screen, you can scan documents directly into Google Drive.
  3. Select “Scan” when the menu slides from below.
  4. You may request permission to access the camera of your phone. If this is the case, tap “Allow.”
  5. If you are willing to scan your document, fill the document in the screen and tap the Blue Capture button. If your device has a flash you can also shed a little light on the document by tapping on the flash icon next to the capture button. This option won’t appear if your device doesn’t have a flash.
  6. After scanning the document, a preview will appear immediately. Don’t worry if it appears to be cut off most of the document. This is where the harvesting tool comes into play. Tap it to make changes. Press it.
  7. Tap, hold and drag on the points to change the area you ‘re scanning and uploading — you probably only have to mess with your corner points.
  8. Tap on the checkmark in the bottom right corner of the screen once complete.
  9. After scanning something, you have three options:
  10. To add additional pages to the text, tap the plus icon.
  11. To scan again, tap the circular arrow in the center.
  12. Tap the checkmark icon and upload the Google Drive document.
  13. As you go, you can also make minor changes to your scans. For example, by tapping the palette of your painter in the top right corner, you can change the color selection of the scan and cater it to a certain type of document. By default, the scanner selects the one it believes to be the best.
  14. Finally, in the upper right corner, the three dots let you delete, rename, and rotate the scan if necessary.

Google Drive includes submitted scans as PDFs, with the words “scanned” and the dates and times prepended. The three dots next to the name of the file can be moved, renamed, or deleted by clicking the three dots.

From this menu you can also share your scanned documents using the ‘Share Connection’ button. This will share a link to the Google Drive document, while “Send a copy” allows you to share the actual file by email, send it to Dropbox and more.

Or, you can even convert that scanned PDF to a document that can then be edited or exported into Microsoft Word if you move to a desktop computer.

Scanner Pro: The best way to scan documents on iOS

Alas, Google Drive does not have a document scan option on its iOS app, but the Notes app is built into your iPhone or iPad. The only downside is that the barebones are pretty good and that they don’t have many features. If you want something a little more powerful, Scanner Pro is recommended. It costs $4, but it is worth it if you need additional features like OCR, and the ability to share a scanned document with various services.

After downloading and installing your app, open it and tap the plus button in the right bottom of the screen.

Fill the screen with your scanned document. As you do so, a blue box highlights the document to mark the paper’s borders intelligently.

When the document is ready to be scanned, the device will scan it automatically or press the capture button below. This depends on whether you set it to Manual or Auto, accessible by tapping the appropriate setting in the top-right corner of the screen.

You can also access various scanning options at the very top, depending on what you scan exactly.

In all events, tap, hold and drag the corner points when the document is scanned to better adjust the boundaries of the scans document — it doesn’t get it exactly right sometimes. Type “Save Selection” in the bottom right corner when you are finished. Or tap “Retake” if the result is not satisfied.

After saving, you will be brought back to the scanning screen, in which more pages of the document can be scanned if more are available. If not, press the button at the bottom right corner to finalize the document scanned.

You can save the document to any number of cloud storage services at this point, or email it to someone (or yourself). Tap “Post” at the bottom of the page.

You can also edit the document at the last minute if you forget to do so by tap “editing,” or tap “add” in order to tackle more pages that you have forgotten to include.

You can select which file format in the Share menu in order to save the document, either PDF or JPEG.

Below you can share the document via email, save it to your photos or fax it, or save it to various cloud services such as Google Drive and Dropbox.

After doing what you wanted to do with a file, go back to the main scanned document screen and either save it on the Scanner Pro locally by pressing “Save” at the top left corner or tap the ellipses icon at the top right corner to delete it.

You can also scan the document from that same ellipses menu and copy all the text you recognize to a word document if you wish. (You can do that on your desktop via Google Drive, if it’s easier.)

Like this, the dream of a (almost) paperless world gets closer thanks to Google Drive, iOS Notes and Scanner Pro. Although we don’t agree that someone would actually be 100 percent paperless, scanning anything and then sharing it with others without the need for heavy machinery certainly leads the way.