Bay Mac’s Help Desk

With Steve Paris

Helping you get the most out of your Mac, iPhone & iPad

Q: Is there a simple way to scan documents into my iPhone?

A: You’d think the lack of a paper feeder would make that impossible, but there’s actually a built-in way which is pretty neat. Of course, the simplest method would be to take a photo of whatever you’d like to scan, but it’s never easy to take one of a document that isn’t at an angle, there’s bound to be distracting stuff around the edges of the shot, and you end up with photographed receipts, business cards and papers, along with photos of your family on holiday.

Where you go to access iPhone’s built-in scanning feature isn’t obvious though. It’s not in the Camera app, but in Notes.

Create a new Note and just above the keyboard you’ll find a series of options. Tap on the “+” and choose “Scan Documents”. You’ll be graced with what looks like a traditional photo interface. Take your photo as you normally would. You can then choose which portion to keep from the image – but it goes further than that: once you’re happy with your selection, the text will be automatically warped to appear as flat as possible, and this works remarkably well, even if the shot was taken at a steep angle.

You can scan multiple pages in a single document and when you’re done tap on Save.

If you want to get your scan out of Notes and into iBooks (where such documents are usually stored on your phone), tap on the scan in Notes and tap on the share button top right (the rectangle with an arrow coming out of it). From there, choose Copy to iBooks, and you’re done.

Steve is an internationally published writer, an Apple Certified Trainer, and through his new website, provides consultancy, training and trouble-shooting services to the Swansea area. You can email him at or contact him on 077-8866-0407



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