Personal Small Business Enterprise

Using your smartphone as a scan to PDF tool

Posted September 20, 2012 in Business, Productivity Tips and Tools by 2

Recently, I received a contract that needed to be printed, signed and faxed back to the sender. I’ve never been a fan of this process because converting from digital to paper and back to digital is time-consuming and finicky. My fax machine was retired years ago in favor of using my multifunction printer to print, sign, scan and send the resulting PDF document by email.

On this day, however, my aging multifunction printer was out of toner and the last time the scanner fired up, it was temperamental. It was time for a new one, but with a price tag upwards of $300, it wasn’t a reasonable option. So I grabbed my iPhone to call a friend for a favour and then realized that I was holding an Internet-connected computer with a built-in camera that had access to a library of free or affordable software.

Could a smartphone be a scan to PDF tool? Turns out it can – and it provides a great solution to a very common problem.

For iPhone users, the iTunes App Store has an app called TurboScan. It can snap pictures of your documents, convert them into monochrome images and then save them as a PDF, which can be emailed as an attachment. The cost? $1.99.

If that’s too rich for you, try FasterScan. It’s free, unless you choose to get the Faster Scan+ upgrade ($2.99) for expanded features.

For Android users, there are numerous free apps. Search Google Play for “scan to PDF.”

And for tablet users with built-in cameras, apps like CamScanner work nicely to accomplish the same goal.

If you have found an app you like better, leave me a comment below.

Let us know what you think

2 responses to “Using your smartphone as a scan to PDF tool”

  1. Harry Cohen says:


    Is there a way to scan multi-page documents into one PDF file or does each page of the document scan into a separate file?


  2. Jane says:

    Blackberry has these apps too.

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