How to Scan Documents Using Notes App in iOS 11

BY Khamosh Pathak

Published 25 Jun 2017

ios 11 iPad document scanning

The Notes app in iOS 11 has a new hidden feature – the ability to scan documents and directly add them to a note. While it’s not as feature rich as third party apps, it has the basics covered – automatic scanning and border detection, multiple scans, grayscale mode and more.

Here’s how it works.

How to Scan Documents in Notes App

Step 1: In the Notes app, open a note and then tap the Edit button.

Step 2: From the formatting bar, tap on the + button. If the keyboard is open, it will be above the keyboard. If not, it will be at the bottom of the note.

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Step 3: From the popup menu, select Scan Documents.

Step 4: You’ll now get into the document scanning screen. Using your camera, align the paper so it’s entirely visible and is highlighted with a Yellow tint. By default, this feature is in Auto mode. So as long as the entire page is covered and there’s ample lighting, it will automatically snap a picture. Tap on the Manual button if you want to take control yourself.

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Step 5: You’ll now be able to crop the page. Tap on one of the edges that are highlighted with a dot. This is a great way to manually take correct any mistakes that the scanning algorithm made. Tap and hold on a corner and move it till it’s at the exact spot where the document’s corner is. Once you’re satisfied, tap on Use Scan. If there’s a problem, tap on Retake to click another one.

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Step 6: You’ll be back to the scanning view. Use the same method to take another picture. Once you’re done, tap on the Save button.

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How to Name and Export Scanned Documents

Once the document is scanned, it will show up as a preview inside the note. You can tap on it to view it. You can rename it as well.

By default, the preview will say “Scanned Documents”. Tap on it and you’ll be able to rename the document right there.

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After you tap on the document preview, it will open in a full-screen view. Here, on the top toolbar, you’ll find options for cropping, rotating and adding filters. Of course, at the end, there’s that Share button.

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Using the Share sheet, you’ll be able to export the scanned document to any app that supports the import functionality. For example, you can send it a conversation in Slack or add it to the new Files app in iOS 11. I was able to send the scanned document to Dropbox app. It was saved as a PDF.

Will It Be Useful for You?

The fact that it’s easy to scan multiple documents and that you can quickly export the PDF to another app, makes this a viable scanning app alternative for a lot of users. If you don’t need anything more, there’s no need to download a whole new app.

What does your document scanning workflow look like? Will you be using this functionality in iOS 11 or is it not powerful enough? Share with us in the comments below.