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  • How to scan and save paper documents as PDF using your smartphone

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    Chances are that you know what a flatbed digital scanner is. You've probably even used one to make digital copies of documents or photos. 

    What would you do, however, if you need something scanned, yet a dedicated scanner isn't nearby? Well, using your smartphone instead is an option – just take a picture of the paper that you need digitized. Or just get one of these apps made especially for the purpose. There's a ton of "scanner" apps, most of which are available for free, and in this post we'll introduce you to some of the best among them.



    CamScanner is one of the most popular mobile apps for "scanning" documents, notes, business cards, and so on. It is also extremely rich in features. The app can automatically straighten, crop, and enhance the taken image in order to make it more presentable and easier to read. Scans can be saved as JPEGs or as PDF, whichever suits your fancy. Registered users may take advantage of cloud storage space for storing and sharing scanned documents. Those who upgrade to Premium ($4.99 per month, or $40 per year) may take advantage of the app's OCR abilities, which converts scanned images into editable text documents.

    Download CamScanner from the iTunes Store or you can find it in the Google Play Store for Android devices.

    Google Drive


    Google Drive is generally used to access Google's cloud service, but the app can also serve as a quick and easy-to-use document scanner. Like the previous offering, the software enhances and straightens the image, which then gets saved in PDF format straight in the user's cloud space. OCR is also featured in the app. Searching your drive for a particular string of text will yield results from within scanned files as well. Note that while Google Drive is available for iOS, this version of the app doesn't support document scanning yet.

    Download Google Drive from the Google Play Store for your Android device

    Genius Scan


    If for some reason you're not quite happy with the previous two apps, give Genius Scan a try. It is rather simple, but effective in getting its job done well. The mandatory auto-cropping and image-enhancing features are present, of course. Saved documents can be uploaded to Box, Dropbox, or Evernote, as long as you choose to buy the full version of the app.

    Download Genius Scan from the iTunes Store or you can find it in the Google Play Store for Android devices.