Do you remember the scanner? 20 years ago, it was an obvious accessory in many home offices, but today almost no one buys separate scanners.
The product has instead been merged with the printer – and the result is a so-called multifunction printer. You who think that one is unnecessarily large can, however, use an even more flexible solution, namely the mobile phone’s camera.
Your mobile camera can not only be used to take photographs – you can just as easily take photos of a paper document. For example, it could be a receipt you want to save or a food recipe that you want to share with someone else. If you then choose to print your image on the printer, you will thus have access to a simple copier.
You can of course use the phone’s built-in camera app, but it is not optimal as a scanner. A much better alternative is therefore to get a special scanning app, for example Adobe Scan.
The point of using Adobe Scan is that the app can automatically correct skewed images and remove the background. If you use your regular camera app, the image will often be skewed and parts of the table top will be visible.
Another advantage is that you can save the image as a pdf file and that it can consist of more than one page. As a rule, your regular camera can only handle individual photos in jpeg format.
Adobe Scan has many powerful tools. If the automatic correction of the documents does not work, you can do a lot of editing manually. The app also has a built-in function for text recognition, so that the text in the image becomes searchable. This is smart if, for example, you read receipts, guarantee slips or similar things that you want to be able to search through afterwards.
This is how Adobe Scan works
Place the mobile camera above what you want to scan. It does not matter if the document ends up skewed.
2. Select type
Change here if you want to scan in something special, such as an ID card.
If you want, you can add pictures that you have already taken and that are on your phone.
Change between scanning automatically and manually.
Tap here – if you have chosen to scan manually.
Turn the flash on or off (mobile light).
If you are happy with the result, save here. You can also rename the file.
Here you see thumbnails of your scan.
You can add additional pages from the phone memory and you can change the order of the pages.
Crop the image or edit it in other ways.
When a document is finished, you can share it with others or save in different ways.
Questions and answers about the app
1. How do I install?
Open Google Play Store (Android) or App Store (IOS) and search for Adobe Scan. Press Install to start the installation and then select Open. The first time you do this, you must log in. You can do this with your Google, Facebook or Apple account – but you can also use Adobe ID, which is the manufacturer’s own login account.
2. What are permissions?
Adobe Scan must be able to access your camera, and the first time you run the app, a wizard will launch allowing you to grant this permission. Exactly what it looks like varies a bit depending on which mobile you use.
3. Is it free?
Adobe Scan is a fully functional free app, but if you want you can pay around SEK 100 a month for a premium version. It allows you to export, for example, the pdf files to the Word format and password-protected files that are sensitive.
Note that Adobe’s marketing of its premium variant is quite aggressive, so be sure not to click wrong.
4. What is text recognition?
Adobe Scan supports text recognition (ocr), a technology that makes the text in the image searchable. This happens automatically when you do a scan – and when you open the pdf file in a program like Adobe Reader, you can search for words in the text.
The function is switched on automatically and if you want to switch it off – or change the language – do so by opening Settings. Choose to deactivate Run text recognition on saved PDF or select Touch Text Recognition Language to change.
5. What other apps are there?
There are more apps that turn your mobile into a scanner, and they have different focus. Photo scanners from Google Photos, for example, are good for you who want to scan old photos, while Microsoft Lens is flexible if you need to continue working with the documents in other Microsoft programs. Read more in our guide here.