How to scan a document on Windows, Mac, Android and iPhone ?

Want to scan or digitize a document and save it to your device in PDF, JPG or PNG format? You are in the right place ! In this tutorial, I explain how to scan a document from your Windows or Mac computer, but also from your Android smartphone or iPhone. Follow the leader !

  1. What is document scanning?
  2. Why scan a document?
  3. How to scan a document in Windows 11 or 10?
    1. Method #1: Via the Scanner app
    2. Method 2: Via the Control Panel
    3. Method 3: Via the Windows Fax and Scan application
    4. Method n°4: via the NAPS2 software
  4. How to scan a document on Mac?
  5. How to scan a document with an Android or iPhone smartphone?

What is document scanning?

The purpose of scanning or scanning a document is to create a digital copy of a paper document . This can be done from your computer using a desktop scanner, scanner-equipped multifunction printer, or from an Android or iPhone smartphone.

When you need to scan a document, there are a few things to consider. The first is that the document should be placed face down on the scanner glass. Additionally, you must also ensure that all edges of the document touch the scanner glass, otherwise your scanned document will be cropped.

Finally, the last element to consider when scanning a document is the choice of resolution. The resolution of a scanned document is determined by the number of pixels per inch (ppi). In order to produce a high quality scan, it is important to use a resolution of at least 300 ppi. Of course, higher resolutions will produce higher quality scans, but will also result in larger files.

Once the document is scanned, it can be saved on your computer or smartphone in different formats, such as BMP, JPG, PNG, PDF or TIF. You can then print the scanned document if needed or email it to someone via your usual email inbox .

Why scan a document?

Scanning a document has several advantages. Here are a few :

  • Allows you to store your paper document as a digital file so you can access it later, from anywhere, anytime.
  • If something happens to the original paper version of your document, you will always have a digital copy.
  • Share your document with others via email or social media.
  • Makes it easy to reprint your document if you need multiple copies.
  • To archive old documents that you may need someday for reference purposes.

How to scan a document in Windows 11 or 10?

Using a scanner is not very complicated, but you still need to know the method. Especially since there are many ways to scan a document in Windows 10 or Windows 11. In this article, I’ll give you 4 quick and easy ways to scan a document. Choose the one that suits you best

Method #1: Via the Scanner app

To scan your document using the Windows Scanner application, follow these steps:

1. Start by downloading the Scanner app from the Microsoft Store.

2.  Configure the various settings in the left pane (optional), then click ” Scan “.

3.  Wait a few moments while your document is scanned…

4.  Finally, you can view your scanned document by clicking on the “ View ” button. Otherwise, you can also find it in the location you have previously defined.

That’s all ! Now you know how to scan a document using the free Windows Scanner app.

Method 2: Via the Control Panel

To scan a photo, contract, or other document through the Control Panel, follow these steps:

1. Open Control Panel .

2. Under the ” Hardware and Sound ” section, click on ” View devices and printers “.

3. Locate your printer/scanner, then click on it, and select “ Start scanning ”.

4. Finally, adjust the various parameters offered such as the color format (color, shade of gray or black and white), the type of file (BMP, JPG, PNG or TIF), the resolution as well as the brightness and the contrast. Then click ” Scan “.

Note : as you can see, the PDF format is not offered. To convert a JPG document to PDF or PNG to PDF, I suggest you use free software like PDF Shaper or ToolRocket PDF Converter . 

Otherwise, go to method #4.

There it’s finished ! You will find your scanned document in the “Images” folder.

Method 3: Via the Windows Fax and Scan application

1. Open the Start menu, then type “scan” (without quotes) in the search bar, and click “ Scan a document or picture ”.

2. From the Windows Fax and Scan application , click on the “ New Scan ” button.

3. From the new window, you can adjust the different options or leave the default settings, then click on “ Scan ”.

4. Once scanned, you will preview your document directly in the Windows Fax and Scan application. Note that a copy has also been saved in “Documents”, “Scanned documents”.

Method n°4: via the NAPS2 software

NAPS2 (or Not Another PDF Scanner 2) is free and open source software that allows users to scan documents and save them in PDF format. It has a simple and easy to use interface, which makes it perfect for both new and experienced users. What’s more, the software is compatible with any printer or scanner.

To scan a document with NAPS2, follow these steps:

1. Start by downloading the NAPS2 software  from the developer’s official website. To do this, click on the “ Download NAPS 2 ” button.

2. Then run the software.

3. Once opened, you must first create a new profile . To do this, click on the small down arrow next to ” Scan “, then select ” New Profile… ” from the drop-down menu.

4. From the “Profile Settings” window, choose a display name (for example, your printer model), then click the ” Select ” button.

5. Select your scanner , then confirm with “ OK ”.

6. Next, adjust the various parameters as you see fit, then confirm with “ OK ”.

7. Finally, to scan a document , click on the “ Scan ” button. You can then save your scanned document in PDF or JPG format. Note that the software also offers options to send the scanned document by email or to print it.

As you will have understood, NAPS2 is an excellent tool for scanning documents and saving them in PDF format. Whether you have a Canon, HP, EPSON printer or a professional scanner, NAPS2 will make no difference.

How to scan a document on Mac?

To scan a document in macOS, follow these steps:

1.  In the upper left corner of your screen, click on the  Apple menu  , then on “ System Preferences…  ”.

2. Then go to “ Printers and scanners ”.

3. From the “Printers and scanners” window, click on the “ Scan ” tab, then on “ Open scanner ”.

Note that during my test, the window did not open. I systematically got the following error message ” Failed to open a connection to the device (-21345) “. To solve this problem, just download your printer driver on your Mac. To do this, go to the manufacturer’s official website (EPSON, HP, Canon, Brother, etc.), then download and install your printer driver. In my case, as it is an EPSON ET-4750 printer, I downloaded the EPSON Scan 2 driver.

4. Then select the area you want to scan, then adjust the various parameters offered. And finally, click the “ Scan ” button to scan your document to your Mac.

That’s it, now you know how to scan a document on Mac.

How to scan a document with an Android or iPhone smartphone?

To scan a document without a printer/scanner , you can use your smartphone. Genius Scan is an app that turns your Android or iPhone smartphone into a portable scanner. With Genius Scan you can quickly scan documents, receipts and more. The app automatically detects borders and adjusts the scan accordingly.

Genius Scan also includes a number of features that make working with scanned documents easier, such as the ability to color correct, crop and rotate pages, add notes to documents, and merge multiple scans into one. file. You can then share your scans via email, AirDrop or other apps and even print them.

To scan a document with your phone, follow these steps:

1. Start by downloading the Genius Scan app from your Android smartphone or iPhone .

2. Once installed, open the app, then tap the icon with a ” + “. Your phone’s camera app will then open. Point your phone at the document to be scanned, and the application will detect it and take a picture of it.

3. Once your document has been scanned, click on the “ Share ” icon located at the bottom right. Note that you can also edit or modify your document by pressing the magic wand icon.

4. From the “ Export a document ” screen, first choose the output format (PDF or JPG) you want and its resolution. Then just below you will find various options. In particular, you can share your document by email or via a Cloud service, but also print it or save it on your phone. To save the scanned document, press ” Files “.

5. Then select the save location on your phone, then tap “ Save ”.

As you will have understood, Genius Scan is an excellent application to transform your smartphone into a scanner. Thanks to it, you can scan your documents easily and quickly and save them in PDF or JPG format to share them with whoever you want.

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SAKHRI Mohamed
SAKHRI Mohamed

The blog of a computer enthusiast who shares news, tutorials, tips, online tools and software for Windows, macOS, Linux, Web designer and Video games.

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