O'Reilly logo

Lifehacker: The Guide to Working Smarter, Faster, and Better, Third Edition by Gina Trapani, Adam Pash

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Hack 85: Use Your Camera Phone as a Scanner

Level Easy

Platform Android and iOS

Cost Free

You’re looking at a whiteboard full of notes or a paper document you want to copy quickly. Instead of manually transcribing the text, you can “scan” the information using the digital camera built into your cell phone. Mobile application CamScanner turns digital photos that contain text into PDF files for you automatically. Here’s how.

Download CamScanner for your device. You can find it in both the Android Market (https://market.android.com/details?id=com.intsig.camscanner) and iTunes App Store (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/camscanner-free/id388627783). CamScanner is available for free and with a price. As of this writing, the free version on Android limits the number of documents and pages you can scan, whereas the free iOS app is ad-supported. You can upgrade the free app for $5 to remove limitations or ads and to remove the watermarks the free app places on your images.

NOTE CamScanner works virtually the same whether you use Android or iOS, but the screenshots in this hack are from the Android version.

After you install CamScanner, you’re ready to start scanning documents. You can create a new scan by either taking a new photo with your camera or by selecting an image already in your phone’s photo library.

1. In the lower-left corner, tap the Add Document button with a camera on the icon, as shown in Figure 9-25. (On iOS, tap the Add Document button with the + sign in the bottom-left ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required