Turn Your iPad Into a Scanner

How to Scan Documents With Your iPad

The days of needing a big, clunky scanner in your office are over.  The iPad can easily scan documents.  In fact, the apps on this list are far better than an old-fashioned scanner.  They can allow you to edit documents, fax documents, save documents to the cloud, and one of them will even read the document back to you.   

The actual scanning of the document is accomplished using the back-facing camera on the iPad.  Each of these apps will cut the document out from the rest of the picture, so you'll just get the page you are wanting to scan, not the pen sitting right next to the document.   When taking the picture, the scanner app will show you the grid it will use to cut the document out of the picture.  This grid is editable, so if it doesn't quite get the whole document, you can resize it.  

When scanning the document, it is important to wait until the words on the page come into focus.  The camera on the iPad will adjust automatically in order to make the text on the page readable.  For the best scans, wait until you can easily read the words.  

How to Become the Boss of Your iPad

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Scanner Pro
Readdle

Easily the best of the bunch, Scanner Pro is the right combination of price and reliability.  The app is easy to use, scans great copies, and has the ability to fax documents for small in-app purchase.  Amazingly, the $2.99 price tag puts it at one of the least expensive scanner apps for a "pro" edition.  After scanning, you can choose to email the document or upload them to Dropbox, Evernote, and other cloud services.  And if you have an iPhone, you scanned documents will automatically be synced among your devices.

Price: $2.99 with in-app purchases for faxing More »

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If you want all of the bells and whistles, you may want to go with Prizmo. In addition to scanning documents and storing them through various cloud services, Prizmo can create editable documents out of your scans.  This can be a key feature if you want to capture the text of a document and make a few quick changes.  It also has text-to-speech abilities, so it can not only scan your documents but also read them to you. 

Price: $9.99 More »

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While Scanbot is the new guy on the block, it's packed with a lot of great features.  It's also an excellent choice for those who just want a basic scanner with the ability to save to cloud services without needing to pay for anything.  While the pro edition of Scanbot opens up the ability to edit documents, add signatures, add your own notes to a document or even lock them with a password, the free version will be enough for many users.  

If all you need is to scan a document and save it to iCloud Drive or Dropbox, Scanbot is a great choice.  And one neat feature of Scanbot is that it does the scanning for you -- rather than wait until the text becomes clear and taking a picture of your document, Scanbot detects when the page is in focus and takes the photo automatically.

Price: Free with in-app pro edition for $4.99 More »

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Doc Scan HD has the best interface of the bunch, which makes it extremely easy to pick up and start using.  The free features include both scanning and editing, so if you need to add a signature to documents, Doc Scan is a good choice. You can choose to email the document or save it to your camera roll, but if you want to save it to a cloud service like Google Drive or Evernote, you will need to purchase the pro version.   

Price: Free with in-app pro edition for $3.99  More »

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Genius Scan specializes in creating multi-page PDF files out of the documents you scan.   It claims to make the text easier to read, although actual results may vary. The free version is limited on where you can export documents, but it does allow you to export to "Other Apps", and if you set up Dropbox or other cloud services right, you can use this to get the document to your cloud drive with the free version.  

Price: Free with a pro edition for $6.99 More »