Here’s how to scan documents and text to Apple devices.

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  • Scan documents and save as PDF with note taking app
  • Scan text from physical documents or lists with Apple’s new Scan Text feature.
  • Use Apple’s Continuity Camera to seamlessly transfer scanned documents to your Macbook.

iPhones are multifunctional devices. The mobile phone that was originally intended for calling and texting no longer exists. Apple smartphone lovers use their devices to scroll through social networks, online shopping, setting reminders and snooze alarms. Thanks to the evolving digital landscape, wearers can even track their workouts with their Apple Watch and find missing items using AirTags.

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But did you know that you can also take everyday items from the real world and import them to your iPhone? Here’s how to scan documents and lists on your phone and seamlessly transfer paper trails to the online world.

How to scan documents on your iPhone

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iOS 11 release in 2017 ushered in a new era for the note-taking app on the iPhone: document scanning. The feature has since been updated with new features, but it was the first step towards merging the physical and digital worlds when it comes to documents and letters.

Here’s how to scan a document on your iPhone:

  1. Open the notes app
  2. Create a new note by clicking in the lower right corner
  3. Tap the camera icon above the keyboard. For older iPhones, this can be a plus.
  4. Select “Scan Documents” to open your iPhone’s camera.
  5. Take a picture of the document you want to keep. The yellow highlight above the document should indicate what is being scanned.
  6. Scan another document to save multiple files, or click Save to exit the camera.
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Your scanned document should now appear in the note-taking app and can be sent, cropped, and edited. If you need a color edited scan, try changing it to grayscale, black and white, or reverting to its photo version by clicking the three intersecting circles at the top of the screen while your camera is capturing the scan. If you want to do it after the fact, click on the scan and find the same option with three circles at the bottom in the middle of the screen.

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How to Scan Documents on a MacBook

Apple also has a feature known as Continuity Camera which acts as an intermediary between your devices. The Continuity Camera can be used with a scanner to upload documents from an iPhone or iPad to a MacBook.

To use Continuity Camera, make sure your devices are close to each other and have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned on. They need to sign in with the same Apple ID to connect.

Open Apple Supported Application on your Mac – Apple says you can use Finder, Keynote, Mail, Messages, Notes, Numbers, Pages, or TextEdit.

When you control clicking on the mouse pad (similar to right-clicking, press on the mouse pad with two fingers) in one of these apps, you should see a menu with a “Scan Document” option at the bottom under your device’s name. You can also select Paste from iPhone or iPad from the File or Paste menu of the app.

As soon as you hit Take Photo, the camera on your iPhone should open, if it’s unlocked, and take a photo that’s automatically pasted into the Mac app.

To import digital text using the Notes app on iPhone, simply point your camera lens at the desired text and it will magically appear as a Notes document.

How to Scan Text on Your iPhone

iOS 15.4 takes scanning to iPhone and iPad to the next level by introducing text scanning function.

With this tool, you can scan a written shopping or to-do list into a note-taking app on your phone. The process is similar to scanning documents. Open the note taking app and tap the camera icon, then tap Scan Text. This will open the camera on the bottom half of the screen where you can capture the written or typed text you want to convert.

How to turn scanned documents into PDFs on your iPhone

You can save your scanned PDF document to iCloud Drive or the Files app with just a few taps. Click on the scanned document, click Send to in the top right corner – it looks like an arrow coming out of the box – and click Save to Files at the bottom of the menu. It should save your PDF document to the location you choose.

How to scan a QR code on your iPhone

iPhone and iPad can scan more than just sheets of paper. QR codes are becoming an increasingly important part of our daily lives as they appear on flyers, advertisements and even menus.

To scan a QR code, simply open the Camera app and point the rear camera lens at the code. The device should automatically recognize the code and provide you with a link.

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