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 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.
Both 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 https://www.camscanner.com.