CamScanner will Turn Your Phone or Tablet into a Scanner for Many Purposes

If you have a “smartphone” or a tablet computer with a camera, you already have a book and document scanner that is more than “good enough” for many purposes. All you need to do is to add some free software. The result is a device that can “scan” documents at the library or archives, can digitally save business cards, save receipts for income tax time, digitize all sorts of documents, and is useful for any other time you need to scan and save a copy for later without any fuss. In essence, your smartphone or tablet becomes a scanner that you can have with you all the time.


CamScanner is an app that may best be defined as a document management solution for mobile devices, starting from capturing information precisely to storing, sharing, annotating and managing documents for different purposes. It not only creates images of the item you scan, but it also lets you enhance the scan result and auto-crop scanned photos. Unlike taking a simple picture of a document, CamScanner will eliminate the unwanted “border” around a picture or document that typically shows in any image taken with a camera. You end up with just the desired document or picture, nothing more.

camscanner-crop_and_enhanceCamScanner also makes the contents easily-accessed and organized and allows efficient collaboration. The digital images are easily saved to “the cloud,” where you can keep them private or optionally share them with others. You can add passwords so that documents are available only to selected individuals, And you can send the documents and pictures to others via email or FAX or by printing them.

CamScanner lets you save document scans in PDF or JPG formats. You can edit and manage documents anywhere an Internet connection is available, using a handheld device or a Windows, Macintosh, or Linux computer. Notes can be added to a document, and OCR scanning is also available free of charge. Documents saved in the CamScanner cloud can be quickly searched, even if thousands of items are stored there.

With CamScanner, any documents you see in the real world can be digitized and saved right away with your mobile phone. Just take a photo, and CamScanner takes care of the rest. Here are the main features of CamScanner as described on its website:

  • Scan any kind of document in seconds, texts or graphics.
  • Scan multi-page documents
  • Batch scan documents
  • Auto-crop scanned photos
  • Smart-enhance the scan results
  • Several Enhance Modes available
  • Save scan results to system album
  • Create PDF files for scans
  • Add customizable watermarks to selected documents
  • Customize PDF page size: 10 page size options (Letter, A4, B5 and etc.)

CamScanner offers up to 200 megabytes of FREE space in the cloud to save documents. Anything saved there can be viewed, edited, and managed on any of your devices. With more than 100,000,000 users around the world, CamScanner is a proven and reliable product. Not bad for a FREE app!

While the Basic CamScanner app is available free of charge, a Premium Account costs $4.99 (US) per month, or $49.99 (US) per year if paid in advance. The Premium Account adds the following capabilities:

  • 10 gigabytes of space in the cloud instead of the 200 megabytes offered in Basic Accounts
  • The capability to edit the OCR results and notes, exporting as a .txt file
  • A collage capability to merge multi-page documents together
  • Batch download PDF files in the web app
  • Send document links to others with password protection to keep your documents restricted to only those with whom you wish to share. You can even set an expiration date for the document link, meaning that those you select will have access only for a number of days that you select.

snap_imageBoth the Basic Account and the Premium Account are available for Android, Apple iOS (iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch), and Windows Mobile. Because of the size of the screens, documents and images can be edited most easily on Windows, Macintosh, and Linux computers by using the CamScanner web app.

If you are interested in CamScanner, I’d suggest downloading the free Basic app first and using it for a while. For millions of users, the free version meets all their needs, and there is no need to upgrade to a Premium Account. However, if you later decide you wish to upgrade, you may do so at any time from within the CamScanner app.

CamScanner is one of my favorite apps, and it might be for you, too. You can learn more at


Can you download the scanned docs to a desktop computer? I think so, but want to check first. I’m thinking of getting a smart phone and this would be one more reason to do so.


    —> Can you download the scanned docs to a desktop computer?

    Yes. Iy can be downloaded and saved to Windows, Macintosh, or Linux desktop or laptop computers. Many of the “scanned” documents in my desktop computer came from CamScanner.


    Oh thanks, Dick. Another item in the pro column of my Should I Get a Smart Phone chart.


Can I just suggest those intending to signup be sure to read the ‘User Registration Terms for a CSA Account”, especially paragraph V1 “Contents produced by users”.


    Did I read this right? Is it saying that INTSIG (INTSIG Information Co., Ltd with its registered office in Shanghai PRC) will be able to use my content royalty-free and/or get money for my content however they use it???


    No, no, no.

    I believe the first statement in section VI is very, very clear: “You are entitled to the copyright and other rights as to the lawful contents you upload to CS Account.” That means that CamScanner cannot do anything with your images unless you give them permission. It is your copyright and nobody else can use those images without your permission. No exceptions.

    Next, a bit later in Section VI it says: “As to the PUBLICIZED contents, you agree to grant INTSIG the world-wide, royalty-free, non-exclusive, sub-licensable and permanent license to use the same.” I added the upper case and bold text on the word “publicized.” The content you store on CamScanner’s web site is not publicized until you make it public so that doesn’t apply to your normal images. Keep in mind that CamScanner’s normal default is to keep everything private to you and you alone. However, you do have other OPTIONS. If you wish, you can make an image PUBLIC to everyone in the world. If you do so, you are giving CamScanner permission to make it public to everyone in the world.

    You also can you can send the documents and pictures to others via email or FAX or by printing them. If you do so, you are giving permission to CamScanner to send them to the individuals you specify.

    Nothing else.

    At the end of Section VI there is an additional statement clarifying your rights: “Furthermore, such reservation of rights is only applicable to the Contents you have publicized rather than any personal information or privacy which has not yet been publicized.” If you use the service a lot but never publicize (make public) anything, nobody else will ever use your images for any purpose. Your private images always remain private.

    In other words, this is a rather normal user agreement, similar to that used by most other web sites. “You are entitled to the copyright and other rights as to the lawful contents you upload to CS Account.” You are not giving any other rights to anyone.


Have been told about this before, but now will deffo download it to my iPad! Thanks Dick


Microsoft OfficeLens does the same thing and more. It is also free and available for Android and iOS (iPhone and iPad). It will transform a document scanned off center and make it a rectangle. Cropping can be done during scanning. Options to save scanned documents include MS OneNote (similar to Evernote), OneDrive (Microsoft’s cloud storage), MS Word, PowerPoint, PDF and to your phone’s Photo Gallery. Where appropriate OfficeLens uses OCR to read any readable text.


    CamScanner has OCR to text, and even have collaborative tools, also you can fax from their app. MS office Lens is a good app I like it, yet for my use CamScanner is better.


I love CamScanner; have used it 2-3 years. I have been able to use it at every research facility I have visited in that time and it works especially well when trying to copy/scan items that are not easily photocopied/scanned. I like the cropping option in the app. When I get home I upload to my PC and treat the documents just like any other scanned item. At the time I got the app I had three options: free, one-time fee of $4.99 or a monthly fee. I selected the one-time fee option. I don’t know if that is still available. Highly recommend. (I have an iPhone.)


What is the situation if you use an image in a published paid-for article or book? Do the usual fair-use conditions still apply for re-use by INTSIG?


    —> Do the usual fair-use conditions still apply for re-use by INTSIG?

    I am not an attorney and not qualified to answer questions about legal issues. However, I would be surprised if the “fair use” section of copyright laws would be any different for CamScanner than they would be for anything else. You can find a good description of “fair use” at the US Copyright Office’s web site at and a shorter but easier to understand article on Stanford University’s web site

    Both of those articles apply only to US laws. Undoubtedly, things are different in other countries.


How well does it work with windows 10?


    CamScanner only works with Android, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Windows Mobile HANDHELD devices. HOWEVER, once an image has been made by the handheld device, any and all images are easily copied to any version of Windows, Macintosh, Linux, or other operating system created within the past ten years or often even longer.


I have cam scanner on my iPhone and I can take pictures of documents with it but I do not see how to transfer these documents to
Can you tell me how this can be done if it is possible


    Once you have the picture, use CamScanner’s built-in commands to transfer it to your desktop or laptop computer, typically running Windows or Macintosh. Then you can transfer it from that computer to anyplace you wish using the normal commands used by that online service. In this case, it would be the normal commands used in FamilySearch.


I am unable to email articles to myself from your newsletters. Is it re-captcha? Go figya– I am using an iPad.


    —> I am unable to email articles to myself from your newsletters.

    I must admit that I have no idea why. Thousands of others do read such articles sent to themselves, including articles I send to myself. I read them on an iPad and on a number of other computing devices and never use captchas. I have no idea why your iPad would be different from the others.

    Is anyone else reading this experiencing the same thing? If so, please post your comments and/or solutions below.


Am I correct in assuming the image would show the usual distortion one gets when a photo is taken from one point, as distinct to the true shape typical of a flat bed scanner? Or does its software correct for that distortion?


Dick have you used the Google Drive scan program I just found in my new phone? Close to CamScanner? Thanks!


Can’t believe anyone recommends this program or bothers to quote a user agreement that isn’t worth the pixels it is written with. The company as best I can tell is Chinese, the cloud where you (if you are foolish enough) sync your documents to is in China or where ever else they decide to place it. If the company violates the user agreement you don’t have the slightest chance of redress (maybe a slight chance if you are Chinese). Almost all the 5 star reviews on the Google Play store are paid for. The program arbitrarily won’t let you store documents on sdcard without you having set up an account and be signed into it (which risks syncing documents to their cloud). In a similar vein you can not create more than 3 folders or nest folders for local document organisation without having a monthly subscription – deliberately crippled features.

I don’t care how well the program works the company behind it is scum. I regret having paid for the app.


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