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CamScanner Mobile Phone Scanner

Monday, April 30th, 2012 by | Filed Under: Android, iOS, Smartphones

CamScanner turns your mobile phone into a portable scanner by using the camera to snap pictures of paper articles or documents (receipts, bills, etc.), and converting them to PDFs. It also includes an editor that offers crop and enhance features and–once the editing is complete–the document can quickly be sent via email or SMS, or uploaded to cloud storage.

My first thought, upon hearing about mobile scanners, was, “I can already photograph documents with my phone, why do I need a scanner?” However, in addition to the ease of conversion to PDF, the CamScanner editor creates a clear, crisp, and very readable image of text. The image below was scanned from a book, edited, and converted to PDF in just a few minutes.


Note: The free version is limited to 50 documents, at 10 pages per document. A document limit appears to be built into the free versions of most mobile scanners, but this is the highest number I found.

To begin the process, lay the document on a level surface and tap the camera button.


When the camera opens, a bubble level appears on the screen. When the bubble is centered (and the camera is level), the level will disappear. At that point, tap the shutter icon (shown at the center right below). Once the picture is snapped, the image will come into focus.


If the image is acceptable, tap OK. If not, tap the Retake button.


Once an acceptable photo has been taken, the Image Processor opens. There, the image can be cropped by moving the corner handles. This can be difficult, especially if the handle is near the edge of the screen. A clean, square edit also requires somewhat more coordination than came pre-installed in my hands. I’m searching for an app to correct that issue. Once a handle is selected, the magnifying glass appears (seen in the upper left).


When the image is properly edited, tap the check mark to approve.


This will display the finished image. Tap the check mark once again for final approval.


Tap the button at the lower right to edit the title.


Once the document has been retitled, tap the PDF button to convert the file.


The PDF will then open in the default viewer on your phone.


The file can easily be re-edited. Tap the file in the document list on the home page and, once it’s displayed–with a long press–bring up the menu.


There, tap the Re-edit button. As seen below, this menu also offers several other options.


Tap the enhance button to select different editing options. For text that includes pictures, Gray mode will provide better reproduction of the image.


Pages can be added to a document by moving them from one file to another. Choose a file from the document list and long press to bring up the menu. From there, select Move.


Then, simply return to the document list and tap the file to which you’d like to add the selected image. It will appear as a new page automatically.


Once you’re ready to send the file, tap the Share icon.


This brings up a list of apps through which messages can be sent. Just select one from the list and send.


CamScanner for Android is available here and for iPhone here.


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2 Responses to “CamScanner Mobile Phone Scanner”

  1. K.Vee.Shanker. says:

    Hi Kevin,
    Thanks for your detailed information on this widely useful application.

    I would like to suggest that whenever you display a processed result, please display the unprocessed one(in this case, the plain camara snapshot) alongside too. That would definitely help us to appriciate the value of such solutions/technologies.

    • Kevin says:

      K. Vee.,
      Thanks for the compliment, and for the suggestion. You’re right, and I’ll keep that in mind for future articles.

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