Despite decades of predictions about us living in a paperless society, there’s still plenty of paper cluttering desks, drawers and wallets, some of which requires scanning (especially now, as EOFY ads remind us that tax season is looming). What to do if there’s no scanner handy, such as when receipts need digitising for expense reimbursements while on the road? There are several apps that turn mobile devices into scanners, some so well that they are more convenient than the real thing.
I tested the Adobe Scan and Genius Scan apps, which both use your device’s camera to take a photo of a document, automatically cropping around the subject if it’s reasonably clear and uniform. The image can be enhanced with colour, rotation and crop tools. The latter includes a useful pop-up enlargement with cross-hairs for getting precise corners, and it’s especially useful when subjects lack right angles. Books that won’t lie flat, for example, as well as non-document subjects such as whiteboards, photos of which may be distorted by perspective.
Images can be saved as PDFs (including multi-page single files) then sorted and exported, all in-app, and usually look as good if not better than what’s produced by regular scanners.