Paper soon belongs to the past. However, there are situations in which the paperwork cannot be avoided. You may need to physically sign an important document, such as an employment contract, or you may be dealing with an organisation that still insists on using physical paper. If you need to fill in physical documents, a request to scan documents can greatly facilitate the process. Simply scan the receipt for these office supplies or sign and scan the contract for a new assignment and you will receive a scanned copy of the physical paper document. Here are some of the best document scanning applications for iOS.

Hint: A list of the best document scanning applications for Android can be found here.

1. Notes (integrated)

Why try downloading a third party application when a document scanner is already integrated in iOS? One of the best features of Apple Notes is that it can be used to scan documents.

Open the Notes application on your iOS device and create a new note. You can then press the grey + button and then the small camera icon. It allows you to scan documents.

Scan your document with the Apple Notes application.

Take a picture and the document will be added to the notes.

A document scanned with the Apple Notes mobile application under iOS

Another interesting feature is the formatting, which allows you to annotate the scanned document.

You can use the Notes application to add notes to scanned documents.

2. ScanPro

ScanPro offers superior scan quality with features such as automatic optimization, blur reduction, shadow removal and automatic edge detection.

ScanPro also integrates with popular cloud services, including iCloud Drive, Dropbox, Evernote and WebDAV, and has extensive sharing capabilities.

The application is equipped with automatic text recognition (OCR). This allows ScanPro to extract text from the scan, so let’s test this feature!

After using ScanPro to scan my recipe, all I have to do is click on Text -> Run OCR and the application will extract all the identified text.

Text extracted using the ScanPro application.

My results were a bit skewed, but that’s enough for a shopping list – and much quicker than writing the ingredients by hand!

3. Microsoft Office Lens

Microsoft Office Lens offers useful features such as text recognition and intelligent scanning, which is impressive for a free application.

Microsoft Office lens.

After scanning a document that consists of an image and text, Microsoft Office Lens managed to separate the text from part of the image of the scanned document.

Document scanned with a Microsoft Office lens.

Microsoft has a special whiteboard mode in which the lens automatically eliminates light and shadow, and a business card mode in which the lens extracts contact information and then stores it in the address book or OneNote.

If you don’t want to pay for a document scanning application, Microsoft Office Lens is a good tool with excellent OCR, an easy user interface, image filters and special scanning modes for clear results.

4. Evernota Sweep

Evernote Scannable for iOS lets you capture documents and convert them into high-quality scans. You can then publish these documents or save them in PDF or JPG format. You can also use Evernote Scannable to convert your business cards into contacts on your iOS device.

Evernote Scannable for iOS.

To get the most out of Evernote Scannable, I recommend using it with the Evernote application. If you scan your documents with Evernote Scannable and then save the document in Evernote, you can unlock additional features, including the ability to search for text in scanned documents.

Use the main application Evernote to find text in an image.

5. Fine Scanner

You can use FineScanner to quickly scan documents to PDF or JPG format.

FineScanner application for iOS.

This application also has a text recognition function. I tested this extract with my list of ingredients, and the results were skewed again, but good enough for something as simple as a shopping list.

Text extracted using the FineScanner application.

FineScanner has a good selection of annotation functions, including the ability to create a signature and add it to the scanned document. This is ideal for the approval of official documents, such as employment contracts.

Annotate your document with FineScanner.

You can also use FineScanner to scan multiple individual pages and then combine them into a digital book.

You can combine multiple documents into one book that is ready for publication.

Have you tried any of the above iOS document scanning applications? If you have a photo you want to edit instead of scanning, learn how to edit photos in the Photos in the iOS application. Don’t forget to check out some of the best widgets to use in iOS 14.

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