How to Scan Anything with Your iPhone

We live in an increasingly paperless world. As businesses and individuals adopt mobile solutions to eliminate clutter, conveniently scan things on our iPhones has become second nature.

Industry reports show that 76% of businesses have transitioned to digitizing documents as remote work explodes. And 91% of employees say going paperless has saved them at least an hour every day by killing time previously wasted on printing, faxing and filing paperwork.

It’s clear the benefits of scanned documents include:

  • Improved accessibility of information
  • Better collaboration across teams
  • Higher security versus paper files

Your iPhone makes reaping these rewards a breeze with its built-in scanner under the Notes app. Or level-up functionality even more with advanced third-party scanning apps.

In this comprehensive guide as an experienced tech professional, let me walk through everything you need to know about scanning like a wizard on your iPhone.

Built-In Scanning Superpowers on iPhone Notes

Thanks to Apple’s tight integration across devices, the Notes app comes preloaded on every iPhone with robust scanning capabilities.

To use it:

  1. Open Notes and create new note
  2. Tap camera icon
  3. Select “Scan Documents”
  4. Position camera over document

Once scanned, you can re-crop images, adjust color filters, or enable Auto mode for streamlined full-page scanning.

Pro Manual Mode Tips

For ultimate control, switch to Manual mode before scanning:

  • Drag corners of capture window to isolate scan region
  • Tap shutter button to trigger scan instead of auto-capture

This prevents any unintended backgrounds or objects from sneaking into your digitized document.

Marking Up Scans on iPhone Notes

Make your scans more useful by marking them up with annotations and drawings:

  • Select desired scan image
  • Tap edit icon (3 dots in bottom menu)
  • Choose markup tool like shapes or text boxes
  • Style drawings with thickness, colors and opacity

Great for signing contracts, filling out forms, collaborating on designs, and more!

Exporting or Sharing Scans from Notes

To access scans later across devices:

  • Tap desired scan thumbnail
  • Hit share icon
  • Choose destination like Files, Mail, Messages or third-party apps

Scans automatically sync through iCloud Drive for native Apple ecosystem access.

But with 2GB free storage, your capacity fills up quickly. So occasionally export scans to external drives or your choice cloud backup solution.

Recommended Third-Party Scanner Apps

While Apple’s built-in document scanner packs a punch, third-party apps take things even further with next-level feature sets.

Based on expert testing and reviews, these standout options bring additional firepower.

Microsoft Office Lens

Perfect for integration with popular Office apps, Microsoft Lens enables neat tricks like:

  • Exporting scans into Word, Excel or PowerPoint files
  • Detect tables and transform to Excel spreadsheets
  • Auto-enhance images with color/contrast/sharpness

It nails the basics too with annotation abilities, smart cropping and de-skewing for tidy scans every time.

While free, unlocking the full monty of features requires an Office 365 subscription at $7/month.

Scanner Pro

Hailed as having the most advanced image processing and editing tools, Scanner Pro shines with extras like:

  • Creating multi-page PDF scans
  • Password-protection abilities
  • Custom sharing profiles for frequently used apps

It also aces erasing creases, glare, shadows and imperfect backgrounds in one tap thanks to the proprietary beautifying algorithms.

Priced at $3, this is widely regarded as the best premium scanning app for iPhones regarding value.

Prizmo Go

If your main objective is converting scans into editable, searchable text, Prizmo Go is the scanmaster with best-in-class OCR powers:

  • 82 languages supported for text recognition
  • Identifies phone numbers, URLs, dates/times
  • Hear text read back via built-in VoiceOver mode

Prizmo shines when accuracy matters most. Case in point: archiving records into searchable databases, automating data entry or translating foreign-language docs.

The free version nails all core OCR competencies while the $10 paid edition adds cloud storage integrations.

Pro Tips for Quality Scans

While iPhone document scanning apps make getting digital files easy, a few simple practices ensure stellar quality:


  • Bright, indirect light reduces glare
  • Avoid shadows covering text
  • Adjust contrast in app if needed


  • Use microfiber cloth to gently wipe camera lens
  • Check for dust or smudges before scanning


  • Place document flat on fixed surface
  • Hover phone parallel over top

Batch Scanning:

  • Enable Auto mode to continuously flow pages
  • Sort multi-page scans later

Following these best practices prevents distorted, blurry or wonky images!

Unlock the Power of Text Recognition

Optical character recognition (OCR) technology gives scanned document text magical properties. Instead of mere images, transforming writing into editable, selectable and searchable text opens up game-changing possibilities.

How OCR scanning works:

  1. Take photo of document containing text
  2. Software analysis recognizes letter forms
  3. Text extracted and encoded into selectable format

Benefits of OCR scans:

  • Copy and paste text from image into other apps
  • Apply edits to correct recognition errors
  • Export scanned passages into Word docs, PDFs, spreadsheets and more
  • Enable keyword searches in digital records

Tests demonstrate over 98% word-level accuracy with the best iPhone OCR software like Prizmo Go. And continual AI advancements are eliminating remaining flaws at astonishing rates.

Free Your Information from Paper Prison

I don’t know about you, but I hate wasting time shuffling through filing cabinets and humming fax machines. Join the mobile scanning revolution to reclaim your productivity now!

As you can see, iPhone document scanning equips you with on-demand tools to banish paper-based bottlenecks for good.

Whether using Apple‘s built-in Notes app or exploring advanced third-party options, keep this guide handy to scan smarter anytime, anywhere! Now put these paperless superpowers to work for you.