Using a PDF Scanner App On Your iPhone To Scan Documents

If you are anything like me, you likely receive important documents in the post, things like tax documents, bank statements etc and then you put them somewhere "safe" only to completely forget where you put them a few weeks or months later.

It is for this reason that I now scan and convert all important documents and store them in my Dropbox as PDF files. This way I (or more accurately, my wife) no longer end up turning the house upside down to find that one document as I can easily find them by searching by file name and contents through Dropbox.

There are many ways to scan documents to PDF using your iPhone or Android device. All examples in this article will use iPhone references however there are similar equivalents on the Android side.

Using the Notes App

The built in Notes app has been able to scan documents since iOS 11.

1. Place the document you would like to scan on a dark background with no direct lighting so that there are no reflections.

2. Force touch the Notes app icon and select "Scan Document” or open the app, create a new note and select "Scan Document" from the “+” menu.

Using the iOS Notes app as a PDF Scanner
iOS Notes App as PDF Scanner

3. Position the document as straight as possible in the camera view.

4. The Notes app will delect the edges of the document and take a photo automatically when its ready

5. Once the page has been scanned, you can scan more or edit it by cropping, rotating it or changing the color style.

iOS Notes App as PDF Scanner

5. You can then share the PDF to other apps like email, messages, Dropbox or AirDrop it to your computer.

Using the Dropbox App

Scanning documents to PDF using the Dropbox app on your iPhone is similar to using the Notes app.

1. Start by force-touching the Dropbox icon and select “Scan Document” or open the app tap on the “Create” icon and then select “Scan Document”

Use Dropbox App PDF Scanner
Using Dropbox App as PDF Scanner

2. Align the document in the camera view and the app will count down prior to scanning the document

3. As with the Notes app, once the document is scanned, you can edit it or scan more pages to add to it.

Scanning PDF documents with Dropbox app as PDF Scanner

4. Dropbox then allows to specify the file name and type (PDF or PNG) and also where you would like the document saved.

5. Once saved, it will then be available to all your computers that have access to your Dropbox account within seconds.

There are many other PDF scanner apps that offer the ability to scan files to PDF using your iPhone or Android, so many that we can’t cover them all in this blog. The user flow is however very similar as is the quality of the resulting scan.

To do more with your PDF documents such as merging them together, splitting them into multiple documents, adding password protection or converting them to other formats such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint or Microsoft Word and more, check out All-About-PDF for Windows or All-About-PDF Online.

How To Convert Webpage To PDF

There are many way to share websites or to bookmark them for reading later. One thing I like to do is to convert a webpage to PDF so that I can add it to my tablet for reading offline. This is handy when flying since airline WiFi (when available and working) still costs an arm and a leg.

Converting a webpage to PDF is very easy and can be done with just about any web browser.

To convert a webpage to PDF in Google Chrome:

  1. Open the webpage that you would like to convert to PDF

  2. On a Mac, select "Print" from the File menu. On Windows, go to the the top right menu (three vertical dots) and select "Print". Alternatively, you can just press Ctrl (Cmd on Mac) + P.

  3. Click on the "Change" button and then select "Save as PDF" as the destination printer

  4. Hit the "Save" button and select the folder where you would like the converted webpage to be saved.

convert webpage to pdf using Google Chrome

If you are using Safari on a Mac, you can convert any webpage to PDF by selecting "Export to PDF" from the File menu.

convert webpage to pdf using Safari Mac and macOS

For Microsoft Edge users, the process is similar to that of Chrome's.

convert any webpage to pdf using Microsoft Edge

1. First browse to the webpage that you would like to convert to PDF

2. Press Ctrl+P to bring up the Print dialogue

3. Select the "Microsoft Print to PDF" printer

4. Hit the Print button and you will prompted on where to save the converted PDF

Unfortunately for our Firefox users on Windows, you have to download a third party plug-in to convert a webpage to PDF and if you are still using Internet Explorer then please see this article.

Convert Webpage To PDF on iPhone or Android

When you are out and about and are on your mobile device, converting webpages to PDF on iPhone/iOS or Android is just as easy.

On iPhone, in Mobile Safari, open the webpage you desire to convert and then tap the Share icon. From the Share sheet, select "Convert to PDF"; this will convert the webpage to PDF and open the PDF for preview. You can then use the Share sheet once again to save the PDF to iBooks for reading later, cloud service such as Dropbox or Google Drive or share it via Messages, WhatsApp, Email etc.

convert webpage to pdf using iOS iPhone mobile safari

To convert a webpage to PDF on Android devices, you will need to download Google Chrome if its not already installed.

convert webpage to pdf on Android Google Chrome

1. Open Google Chrome and go to the webpage that you would to convert to PDF

2. To the right of the address bar, tap the three vertical dots and select "Share"

3. Select Print

4. Select "Save as PDF"

5. Tap the Save icon

6. Now you can select where to save the converted PDF.

What Next?

Now that you have converted your web page to a PDF, there is more you can do with it. You can split the PDF into multiple pages, you can add password-protection, you can compress the PDF to save storage space and you can even convert it to other formats such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint or JPG. Our PDF toolkit, All-About-PDF, allows you to do all of the above and more. To get started, download the Windows version or try out the online web application - all for FREE.