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In Mobile Last updated: June 15, 2023
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Whether you’re a student or a professional, chances are, you’d need to scan a bunch of documents regularly.

From assignments to official paperwork, the scanning needs are never-ending. It’s best to have a nifty scanning tool on your hand at all times to help you quickly scan different documents and send the soft copy to anyone, anywhere. If you own an iPhone, this task is a piece of cake.

The iPhone is equipped with all the high-tech features you could possibly imagine. With each update comes cool new features that can make your life much easier. Specifically, the device comes with a built-in scan feature that gets the job done seamlessly.

Wondering how to scan a document on your iPhone? Stay with me.

How to Scan on iPhone using the In-built Feature

The iPhone’s built-in scanning feature is perfect for you to take quick scans of important paperwork and forward it in seconds. You don’t have to go through the hassle of downloading another app or trying to make sense of different features.

Here’s how you can scan documents on your iPhone with ease:

Step 1: Open the Notes app and create a new note.


Step 2: Launch the keypad on the Notes app, and tap on the Camera icon.


Step 3: The camera icon will open up a drop-down menu with several options. Click on the Scan Documents option.


Step 4: The iPhone’s scanner will open up. You can hover your camera on top of the document for your phone to automatically scan and capture the text.


The scanner’s default setting is set on auto. However, you can switch to manual mode by tapping the tab that says Auto at the top right corner. You can change back to the auto mode in the same way.

Step 5: Once the scan has been captured, you can either retake it if it’s not satisfactory (too blurry, grainy, or zoomed out) or save it. And just like that, you’ve successfully taken a scan from your iPhone!

While your iPhone is perfectly equipped to take quick scans of important documents, a third-party app will help you take more detailed scans while unlocking many useful features, such as text extraction, advanced markups, and auto form filling.

Most of these third-party apps have some in-app purchases, but they offer a free version that does the job without a hitch.

How to Scan on iPhone Using Apps

I have tried several scanners over the years to capture clear and crisp images of a bunch of different documents.

Of all the apps I’ve used, here are a few that stand out from the crowd. These are my absolute favorites, and they come with an easy-to-use interface, give you crisp and clear scans, and other unique features.

#1 Adobe Scan

Adobe is a big name in the software industry, so it’s no surprise that this app made it to the list.

Adobe Scan is a multi-functional and easy-to-use app with various advanced features to take high-resolution scans. It basically serves as a portable scanner device that takes a crisp and detailed scan of all documents you throw at it.


From important paperwork, official documents, photos, whiteboard, and business cards, to receipts, ID cards, notes, and even answer sheets during online exams, Adobe Scan can capture pictures of all kinds of documents and save them in different formats.

The scans are also editable once you have captured them. You can add filters, adjust their appearance and page size, mark the document with signatures, and more.

You can convert the scans into PDF or save them as JPEG for quick and easy accessibility. Moreover, you can swiftly send PDFs or images via email, Whatsapp, or other messenger apps in seconds or opt to create a link for it.

It simply cannot get any easier and more comprehensive than this.

Key Features: 

  • Automatically uploads all the scans on Adobe Document Cloud for easy accessibility from phone, laptop, and tablet. 
  • The text on the scans can be extracted with a few clicks
  • Comes with an optional premium subscription that provides extra storage and more export options

Also read: How to Backup iPhone to Mac or Windows

#2 CamScanner

If you’re looking for a free-to-use nifty scanner for your iPhone, then CamScanner is an option worth considering.


While the app also offers premium subscriptions, the free version includes all the essential features you need to scan, store and edit a wide range of documents. You can scan your invoices, notes, certificates, cards, and more using this free mobile scanner.

It comes with Optical Character Recognition, which allows the app to recognize and extract text within the image. The generated scans can be converted to different formats, including doc, PDF, and excel.

The best part? It has a smart crop and auto-enhance feature that can automatically optimize the quality of your scan. The final result would look clear, bright, crisp, and sharp – no more blurry and grainy scans.

You can also annotate or add e-signatures on important official documents from the scanner.

Another useful feature of the app is the ability to invite your co-workers, teachers, or friends to view and comment on the scans that you have generated.

Key Features: 

  • Invite others to collaborate on the scans 
  • Convert scans into a wide range of file formats 
  • Smart crop and auto-enhance features make the scan more crisp and clear

#3 PDF Element

A versatile and simple-to-use scanner that you’d love is PDF Element.


It comes with all the basic features of a run-of-the-mill scanner, such as:

  • Editing texts, pages, images
  • Watermarks
  • Annotations
  • E-signatures
  • Custom stamps
  • Markups
  • Conversion from PDFs to other file formats

The tool takes crisp and detailed scans, which can be compressed without losing the image’s quality. It’s equipped with form field recognition technology to make filling different forms easier. You can also create custom blank PDFs with many template options, such as blank paper, grid, lined, dotted, graph, and music paper, tailored to your unique needs.

PDFelement allows you to customize the PDF further by adjusting the portrait or landscape orientation in legal sizes or A3-A5 and B5 letters.

Besides, storing and sending the scans from the app is a breeze. You can back up the photos to all the major cloud storage platforms, including Google Drive, iCloud, Dropbox, OneDrive, WebDAV, and more. This makes accessing the scans so much easier. If this is not enough, you can also sign up to get 1 GB of Wondershare Document Cloud space.

Due to its clear scans, several export options, and additional features, I’ve found PDFelement to be one of the most “complete” apps for scanning on iPhone. Even if you don’t get the premium plan, you can make the most of its free features. 

Key Features: 

  • Scans can be uploaded to several cloud storage options 
  • Custom PDFs can be created and personalized
  • Comes with form field recognition technology to automatically fill any form 

Closing Thoughts

Thanks to the many options, you never have to worry about being unable to scan a document. As long as you have your iPhone with you, you can scan and edit any document under the sun.

While the built-in scanner of the iPhone can cover the basic scanning needs, if you want a multi-functional app, the third-party apps will fulfill your requirement without breaking a sweat.

Want to add magic to your pictures? Learn how to invert a picture on iPhone!

  • Adnan Rehan
    Adnan is a BMS graduate and a senior writer for Geekflare who loves breaking down complex topics into easy-to-understand pieces. He has also written for sites like Sparkian and Techkle. Besides work, you can find him on the football turf or… read more
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