How To Scan Documents On An iPhone

Do you want to scan documents with your iPhone? Scanning using your phone is easy and convenient. We have created an easy to follow, step by step guide to take you through the process.

iPhone vs. Traditional scanner

There are many differences between an iPhone and a traditional scanner. Here are the pros and cons of scanning documents on an iPhone.


iPhones are incredibly lightweight and small. You can fit them in your pocket. Scanners, on the other hand, are bulky. You can also use your iPhone wherever you want; portability is unmatched. When scanning, you're provided with greater customizability. With multiple filter options, the document can be presented in monochrome, full-color, or black and white. Cropping is also available when scanning on an iPhone.

Traditional scanners also require a bit of skill to operate. You need to learn about all the settings, whereas iPhone scanners only require you to know how to take a photo. Scanners are also expensive. While iPhones do cost, you likely own one already. Buying a dedicated scanner can set you back a few hundred dollars.

With a traditional scanner, you will also have to be near a power outlet at all times. This further limits portability. If there is a power outage, you won't be able to scan a document. iPhones, on the other hand, have fantastic battery life. That means you have extra versatility and won't require an additional computer to process the scanned document.


A traditional scanner takes less time. The difference isn't much, but if you're scanning in bulk, then it will certainly add up. iPhones can't scan in low light conditions. You can turn on the flash to counter the issue, but you will notice a drop in the quality of the scan. Traditional scanners, however, can scan documents under any light conditions, and you won't get any shadows.

How to scan a document from your iPhone

Scanning documents on your iPhone is straightforward. It's a similar experience to taking a photo. There is minimal installation required as the native document scanning feature gets most of it done quickly.

Native Document Scanning

Many don't know that the Notes application on your iPhone (which is a default app) has a scanning feature that works flawlessly. There are also many facilities offered, including cropping, full-color scanning, etc. The auto mode is excellent as well. Note scanning is also available on the iPod and iPad. Here is how to do it.

  1. Open the notes application.
  2. Create a new note.
  3. Tap the camera icon.
  4. The camera interface will open up.
  5. Try taking a picture regularly.
  6. There will be a yellow box on the screen. It will help you align the paper correctly.
  7. Press the button used to take photos. You can also use the volume down key to do this.
  8. Drag the four circles in the corner. These will help you crop the picture.
  9. If your photo is blurry, then you can press the "Retake" option. If you're satisfied with the scan, click "Keep Scan."
  10. You can further add more scanned pages.
  11. Tap on "Save" once you're done.


If you dislike the note application, then we recommend using Cam-scanner. It's completely free and very similar to the previous option. Despite this, they offer some unique features. You can download Cam-scanner from the App Store. The user experience is pretty much the same for both applications. Your choice depends on what features you prefer.

Because using Cam-scanner is not a really different experience, we have discussed some of the features it offer below.

Convert to Greyscale

This option can be accessed and applied during scanning. It allows you to convert your scanned document to either greyscale or black and white. If there are shadows in your scan, you can easily overcome them with this feature. Here is how to do it.

  1. Click on the three intersecting circles on the top of the screen. This is to be done when taking the picture.
  2. Click on the "Grayscale" option.
  3. You can also choose "Black & White," "Color," or "Photo."

Download Scan As PDF

You are also given the option to download the scan as a PDF. It will be stored in the "Files" app. Here is how to do it.

  1. Click on the "Export" icon. Do this after the "Keep Scan" step.
  2. Choose "Create PDF."
  3. It is then saved to your storage.

Add Text To Scan

The last feature is adding text to your scan. This feature also includes handwriting and signatures. Here is how to do it.

  1. Select the document.
  2. Click on the "Export" icon.
  3. Choose "Markup."
  4. Tap the plus option to add your pre-saved signature.
  5. You can also use the tools to sign there right now.

Notes vs. Cam-scanner

You might be confused as to which application to choose. Both Notes and Cam-Scanner are amazing. Here are some of the critical differences between Cam-Scanner and the Notes app which might help you make a decision.

  1. Cam-Scanner has to be downloaded, while Notes is pre-installed. You will have to use a few MBs for the installation.
  2. Cam-Scanner offers 200 MB of cloud storage. That's more than what it occupies on your phone. You can use this storage for multiple documents. If you have minimal space on your phone, then the free space will be useful.
Muaz Ashrafi

Hi! I am Muaz, a Mass Communication major. I like to think I am a free urban spirit. I write blogs with a focus on tech and gadgets. When I'm not writing, you can find me with my headphones on, relaxing to some good house EDM music. I'm also a hobbyist photographer, you can find me on Instagram @mzwithacamera.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *