Today, a flatbed scanner does not need to be brought in the backpack to scan documents or book and magazine pages. This is a fairly persuasive challenge now for the Smartphone or Tablet.
You can still run into it: an annoying line in the library for the copier. You can now stop this line if you have a smartphone or tablet with a somewhat powerful lens. Armed with the right app, you’ scan’ every piece of paper in excellent quality and with lightning speed. In reality, you can also use the camera app on your phone, of course, but image readability is improved with a scanning app. Try a black-and-white transformation and gray colors, for example. This also produces more compact files immediately, and you can go with them anywhere along with the export option to the popular PDF format. And no: the end result is not of the same high standard as what a flatbed scanner delivers. But it doesn’t need to be readable in nine of 10 cases. With 8-megapixel Smartphone or Tablet cameras and (much) more no durability.
Few general principles for optimally photographing paper papers should be considered before we add a few devices. Second, make sure that the exposure is even, rather than immediately above. You prevent the latter from creating the nasty shadow of your hand and mobile; for instance, stand by the window or diagonally point the lamp to the document you want to capture. A photograph at an oblique angle if you are caught at a source of light from above. Most apps search for a photo taken this way automatically. Do not use a flash, especially because the edges are not too dark, which often leads to a very over-exposed center part of the pictured document.
The way to success is indeed only exposure. Therefore, if there are mainly a text and a single illustration in the photographed file, converting to black and white usually produces the best readability and printability results. A close second is Grayscale. Color is good, but storage space is also plenty. For example, the best option, thanks to the compact file size, is to share an image scanned document via e-mail. Last but not least: ensure that the original to be scanned is clear and avoid folds and pluckings, if possible naturally.
We increasingly see OCR or text recognition as part of the scanning app. The results are very varied, with at least one outstanding app being found (see below). In any case, do not expect the miracles of text recognition that are performed on your mobile device itself. The results are sometimes nice, but they definitely require some post-processing. It is often a little more difficult to recognize photographed texts than to recognize them from an evenly scanned flatbed document, thanks to a lower resolution and less uniform exposure. Although the apps are getting smarter and better, of course!
Gold standard FineScanner
In our view, we start with an all-in-one app of excellent quality. ABBYY (Known as the Windows OCR program ABBYY FineReader)’s FineScanner Pro (unfortunately only for iOS) is definitely not the cheapest download. But don’t be slowed down by this because a non-pro version is also available free of charge. In this scenario, you pay for an OCR kit. You are all very happy about the free version if you’re primarily concerned about scanning and much less about OCR. This is a heavy sum for an app for the PRO version. The tests of text acceptance are fantastic, on the other hand. You have unlimited access to the FineReader online engine for this price.
To save the document, click Save. Please give the file a title other than the created name, and tap Done. Optionally. Click on the corresponding scan in the list to mail a scanned document (or a collection of pages in one file) as a PDF. Then tap the Share button in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen, select By eMail and then Large PDF files. Click the middle button of the file panel (rather than the sharing button) to perform text recognition. Then you upload the file. Type Done and submit your document as a searchable PDF. Choose your document language and format, default Searchable PDF file.
Of course more, also for Android
The fact that we’ve gone a little deeper into FineScanner is that other scanning apps often work more or less the same, but then just as often minus the OCR module. Prices are in line with the ad-free FineScanner software, often less so. Or free as well, but also with advertising. And, of course, Android users don’t have to hide behind either! For example, the PDF Document Scanner from Simox is completely free of charge. Genius Scan is available for both iOS and Smartphone or Tablet -without in-app purchases. Also for all mobile operating systems, Scanbotis an image scanner. If you’re searching for a scanning app in your device’s app store there’s more than enough to find-then make sure there are automated straightening and an option to export to PDF format. From now on, you’re not going to have to stand in line before the copier.