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How to Scan Documents with Two Fast Methods on Android

Scanning documents on Android is easy, with options like Google Drive and Microsoft Lens. Let's walk through the process together.

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It’s never enjoyable to scan documents, but we all have to do it at some point. While it’s nice that you can quickly scan documents using your Android device, you will need special equipment if you plan to do the same with other smartphones.

To scan a document on your Android phone for reimbursement purposes, scan a government form so you can email it, or save business cards, simply follow this step-by-step guide.

The Simple Android Scanner Method: Google Drive

Android doesn’t come with a scanning function, so you’ll need to download the Google Drive app to easily use a scanner. It’s a default method because it’s on virtually every Android device, out of the box.

Using Google Drive to scan your documents will offer several benefits. Your scans are automatically saved to your Drive account, so you don’t have to think about saving your documents. Scanning with the GDrive has an extra benefit: sending a scan via a Drive link to family or colleagues.

If you don’t have the app already, install Google Drive from the Play Store, open the app, and sign in to your Google account. On any of the app’s tabs, tap the Plus button at the bottom-right of the screen to show the Create new panel. Choose Scan once this appears.

If you have never used Google Drive before, you must allow the app to use your camera to enable it. After which, you’ll be able to snap a photo of the document you’re scanning with the camera that will launch right away. This picture is captured as usual with the camera’s interface. Other built-in options like a zoom or timer may be available to those who want them.

You’ll see a preview of your photo; tap the redo button to try again, or the Check button if you’re satisfied. After Clicking the Check button, you’ll have the option to make several edits to your scan.

Editing Your Scan in Google Drive

Below your scan in Google Drive, you’ll see four icons: one to find your scan and the others to print or view your scan online. These are from left to right:

  • Redo: Tap the arrow to scan the document again, which is useful if it came out blurry or similar.
  • Colour: The palette icon lets you choose between four colour enhancement options. Black & White and Color are the most common, depending on whether your document has colour. But you can try the other two to see if they improve the scan quality.
  • Rotate: Use this to rotate the scan in 90-degree increments.
  • Crop: Google Drive’s scanner should automatically crop the scan to what it detects as the edges of your document. But in case it didn’t get this right, use the Crop tool to adjust the edges yourself.

 

Google Drive Image Scan
Credit: MakeUseOf
Google Drive Image Scan
Credit: MakeUseOf

 

If you want to add additional scans, tap the Plus icon in the bottom-left corner to scan another document. Finally, there are a few options accessible using the three-dot menu at the top-right. Use Rename scan to change the generic name that uses the date and time.

And, there are a few options to consider under Settings. You can change the default colour enhancement by image enhancement. The Paper Size option lets you change the size of the final PDF, and you can set the paper orientation to either Landscape or Portrait.

Finally, if you want to increase image quality, adjust the Image Quality setting. Or, if you want to reduce the size of your image files, lower the Image Quality setting.

Viewing and Saving Scanned Documents in Google Drive

 

When you’re all done, tap the Save button back on the main scan page.

Additionally, you’ll be able to edit the file name and save it to the folder of your choice on Google Drive (if you have multiple). Pick a Folder, and it will upload to Drive when you tap Save.

You can open your Google Drive’s PDF at any time. if you want to be able to get to it without being on the network, tap the three-dot button on the file and choose to make it available offline. You can also choose Download to save a local copy anywhere on your phone’s storage.

How to Scan Documents on Android Using Microsoft Lens

There may be many reasons why you dislike the Google Drive app, even though it makes scanning documents on Android easy. Or, perhaps you want to use a different kind of account or you simply prefer to have your scans not uploaded to the cloud.

That’s where apps like mobile document scanners can be helpful. Let’s pick out the best option, such as Microsoft Lens. It is a straightforward document scanner for Android devices that enables you to simply save your scans as local files and thus addresses one of the largest problems of Google Drive.

To start Microsoft Lens, you should install it and then open it. When you first start out, you’ll see a basic explanation of the app’s features, then be asked to give the app permission to access your photos and camera. The lens makes scanning incredibly easy, as soon as you complete one scan, Lens jumps in.

Microsoft Lens Scanning Modes

Lens has features for scanning various types of media, whereas Google Drive only lets you scan documents. Along the bottom, you can switch to WhiteboardDocumentActionsBusiness Card, or Photo. Most of these are self-explanatory, except for Actions, which houses several tools.

Inside Actions, you can use the sub-menu to choose from the following OCR tools:

  • Text: Extract the text from a picture so you can copy or share it.
  • Table: Grabs a printed table from an image.
  • Read: Speaks text in your image out loud.
  • Contact: Grabs the info from a business card and saves it to a contact on your phone.
  • QR Code: Scan a QR code with your phone to open the information it holds. This isn’t OCR, but it’s grouped into the same menu.

Capturing and Editing Using Microsoft Lens

Scanning a document is as simple as pointing your camera at it and taking a picture. To ensure you get the best quality scans, make sure you scan your media in a contrasting background and hold your phone directly above it.

In Lens, you can edit the borders to better match your actual surroundings in the app. Once you hit Confirm, you’ll see a page with all sorts of options.

Add opens the scanner so you can add more images to the document. Use Filters to modify the look of the image, then Crop and Rotate if it doesn’t look right.

Under More, you can select Ink to draw on the document, Text to overlay typed text, or Reorder to rearrange the items in a scan. When you’re happy, tap Done to move on.

Saving and Uploading With Lens

Now, you’ll be able to decide where you want to save your scanned file. First, use the control near the top of the application to modify the document’s title. Next, select where you want to save the file in the relevant locations window. The default selection of your Gallery saves a scan as an image.

However, you could also scan the document and save it to your OneDrive, a Microsoft Word OCR document, or another Microsoft app, such as OneNote or PowerPoint. While they aren’t strictly necessary, they will speed up your workflow if you are already accustomed to Microsoft Office products.

Tap Save when done, and your Android scan is complete. You’ll find it in the Office Lens folder on your phone, which should appear in your Gallery app.

Conclusion How to Scan Documents with Two Fast Methods on Android

You’ve got a super-easy PDF scanner that’s built right into your Android phone. The next time you need to scan something, save the hassle of using a library scanner or getting a scanner at home. Capture and edit documents quickly using the two Android document scanner apps.

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