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How to use the document scanner in the Notes app on iPhone and iPad



How to use the document scanner in the Notes app on iPhone and iPad


Source: Joseph Keller/ComoHow

If you’ve been using an iPhone for a few years, you’ve probably tried various third-party document scanner apps in your life. However, while we all have our favorites, there is another option to consider: the built-in iOS document scanner for iPhone!

If you’re tired of storing different apps to scan a business card, brochure, or document from time to time, you’re about to break free from the multi-app grind.

In iOS 15, on all major iPhones, Apple’s document scanner is hidden within the Notes app, and since it supports in-app sharing, you can store the newly scanned document anywhere you like. That is how.

Table of Contents:

How to scan a document on iPhone and iPad

The document scanner is hidden in the Notes app on iPhone and iPad. With just a few clicks, you’ll have a rock-solid scanned document ready to annotate, convert to PDF, and share with another app.

  • Open Notes on your iPhone or iPad.
  • Create a new note or touch an existing note to add a document.
  • Tap the camera button at the bottom of the screen or above the keyboard.

    Source: HowHow

  • Tap Scan Documents.
  • Align the document you want to scan.
  • Press the shutter button if the scanner does not automatically scan the document. Repeat this step for each document you want to scan.
  • Press Save after scanning all the necessary pages. The button will count the number of pages you have scanned.

    Source: HowHow

  • The scanned pages will be inserted into a new note in the Notes app.

    How to annotate a scanned document on iPhone and iPad

    Once you’ve scanned a document, you can mark it up with one of the Notes app’s built-in markup tools. With the markup tools, you can highlight, handwrite, cut and move sections (magic string style), and add a text box, shape, or arrows. You can also add your signature directly from the Notes app.

  • Tap the scanned document in your note.
  • Tap the share button in the top right corner.
  • Tap Labeling. You may need to scroll down the actions menu to see this option.

    Source: HowHow

  • Tap the tool you want to use.
  • Tap the color picker if you want to change the color your chosen tool will use.
  • Tap + if you want to add a text box, signature, magnifying glass, or shape to your document.

    Source: HowHow

  • Annotate your document.
  • Tap Done when you’re done.
  • Tap Done to return to your note.

    Source: HowHow

  • The scanned document will save the markup changes you have made.

    How to save a scanned document as a PDF

    Where before you had to manually convert your scanned documents to PDF, the Notes app does it automatically. But you’ll need to save your scanned copy somewhere like the Files app. That is how.

  • Tap your scanned document.
  • Tap the share button in the top right corner.
  • Tap the app where you want to save your PDF and follow that app’s procedure for saving a file.

    Source: HowHow

  • How to share a scanned document on iPhone and iPad

    Want to send your scanned document to a friend, family member or colleague? You can easily do this from the Notes app.

  • Tap your scanned document.
  • Tap the share button in the top right corner.

    Source: HowHow

  • Touch the app you want to share the note with.
  • Share your PDF.

    Source: HowHow

  • How to delete a scanned document on iPhone and iPad

    If you accidentally scanned the same document twice or decide to try again after saving a scanned document, you can delete a single scan without having to delete an entire document.

  • Tap your scanned document.
  • Tap the trash can in the bottom right corner.
  • Tap Delete scan.

    Source: HowHow

  • It will only delete the specific scanned page you selected. If you want to delete the entire document, delete the note.

    switch to scan

    The tips above should be all you need to convert some physical documents to digital versions, store them, share them, etc. You may find that the Notes app document scanner is powerful enough for your needs and you can get rid of the dedicated app you were using before.

    June 2022 update: minor changes made.

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