Despite the fact that we live in an increasingly digital world, many organizations still print out important documents on paper – whether it be a letter, contract, bank statement, invoice, receipt or educational handout. At the same time, these are usually sent out via the post and end up in your letterbox.
One of the main reasons companies rely heavily on paper is because they understand that there are still people who don’t have access to the internet. But this is only a minority of folks, with estimates suggesting that just 10% of British homes and 11% of American homes aren’t connected to the internet.
Receiving bank statements, retail invoices and important notices through the post may seem redundant when you can access most of this information online, although you can’t shy away from the fact that paper still dominates society. Unfortunately, managing so many letters isn’t exactly easy. Most of us end up misplacing important documents.
But technology, as it often does, can save the day in the form of document scanning apps. With these, it’s possible to scan paper-based items such as letters, receipts and contracts using the camera of your mobile device. You can then keep them safe and stored on the cloud for future use. The other benefit of this sort of software is that it lets you send documents quickly. Here are the best document scanning solutions out there right now.
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With around 500 million users around the world, Dropbox is clearly one of the most popular file sharing and cloud computing tools on the market. And it also offers a nifty, mobile-based feature for scanning documents, which is capable of capturing text, multi-page documents and photos.
Dropbox’s scanning capability works across Android and iOS devices, giving you the ability to transfer important documents to save virtually on the cloud in a quick and easy manner. However, there are a few limitations. The feature only works with typed documents written in English at present, and there’s no support for PDF files.
At any rate, Dropbox Business is a great way to store and organize sensitive company documents. With, you’re able to recover and restore misplaced files, create and share content with colleagues, access files from any device, get feedback on work, protect files with passwords and other security features, and control who can access certain documents.
The standard edition costs £10 ($13.50) a month per user, providing 2TB of cloud storage, 120 days of file recovery, 256-bit AES and SSL/TLS encryption, smart sync, Office 365 integration, admin console access, remote device wipe and a range of collaboration tools. However, there is a 30-day free trial available.
If you’re looking for something a little more advanced, it’s worth checking out Abby’s FineScanner. The software not only lets you turn scanned documents into PDF and JPEG files, but it also uses optical character recognition to scan texts in 193 languages from around the globe.
Compatible with Android and iOS, the app lets you scan both printed and handwritten texts straight from your mobile device. There’s not only support for nearly 200 languages, but FineScanner also works with 12 file formats, including DOCX, PDF and TXT. The great thing about the app is that it preserves original document formatting.
What’s more, you can access a set of easy-to-use annotation tools to add signatures and notes to text. And the iOS version of the software sports a feature called BookScan, which lets you digitize books with ease. It turns facing book pages into separate images, removing any defects and removing curves.
Once you’ve made a scan, you can share it with anyone over email or save it to cloud storages such as Dropbox, Evernote and iCloud Drive. Currently, FineScanner is free to download on Android and iOS devices, but it offers in-app purchases if you’d like to get more storage and capabilities.
Genius Scan is yet another highly popular mobile scanning app, with its developers claiming that the software has digitized more than half a billion documents worldwide. Described as “a scanner in your pocket”, it lets you turn paper-based documents into JPEG and PDF files.
Headline features include smart page detection, perspective correction and image enhancement. And with patch scanning, you can create digital copies of dozens of pages within seconds. The app also enhances the legibility of documents, ensuring they’re readable, and you can keep your files organized with titles, tags and a search function.
Just like FineScanner, you can upload scanned documents to a range of cloud storage platforms, including Dropbox, Evernote, Expensify, Facebook, Google Drive, OneDrive (and OneDrive for Business), OneNote (and OneNote for Business), FTP, SugarSync and WebDAV. If you’re scanning sensitive documents, you can protect them with built-in encryption, passwords and Touch ID. It’s free to download on Android and iOS, but offers in-app purchases.
Scanbot is positioned as an easy and fast way to create high-quality scans on iPhone, iPad and Android devices. According to the developers behind the app, it is capable of making “hundreds of decisions to capture the document perfectly, crop the document, straighten it and apply the filter”.
With the software, you can scan documents, receipts, sketchbooks, whiteboards, business cards, labels, QR codes and barcodes. Once you’ve scanned an item, you can choose from five color modes to make it look perfect. There are also tools to crop and optimize scanned documents, all of which are automatically captured with 200+ dpi.
You’re able to save documents as PDR or JPD files, and you can upload these to a range of major cloud services. The software supports iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, Amazon Drive, Slack, Todolist, OneDrive, OneNote and Box.
If you plan on using Scanbot for business purposes, you can easily fax documents directly from your mobile device in 50 supported countries. As is the case with most of these apps, Scanbot is free to download on Android and iOS, with the option of in-app purchases.
As the name suggests, CamScanner is an app that turns the camera of your mobile device into a document scanner. With it, you’re able to scan a range of documents, from invoices to receipts. The software turns scanned documents into PDF files, which are automatically uploaded to cloud services such as Box, Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote and OneDrive
Targeted specifically at business users, the app lets you invite colleagues to view and comment on scans. However, they must hold a user account. There’s also an advanced editing feature, which lets you add annotations and watermarks to documents, making them look more professional. For improved security, you can add passcodes to documents.
The app is free to download on Android and iOS. But you can upgrade to a premium plan to get to get 10GB of storage, add 40 extra collaborators to the app, send document links with password protection and batch download documents. You have the option to pay either $4.99 (£3.70) a month or $49.99 (£37) a year.