Scan Photos with Your Smartphone

Edited by Mohsin, Lynn, Eng, Christine dela Cruz

While you cannot use your phone as a scanner like you can use one with PC, there is a way you can use your phone to scan your photos. Cameras on modern smartphones take such good quality photos, that you can take a picture of your developed photos using your smartphone cam, and then transfer them to your PC using a USB cable. You can then do a lot of editing on the photos too, to make them look even better.

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  1. 1
    Open the camera app in your smartphone.
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  2. 2
    Put the photo in front of your camera.
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  3. 3
    Turn off the flash.
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  4. 4
    Press the shutter button to take the photo.
    (Do not shake the camera while taking the photo.)
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  5. 5
    Using photo editing software like Pixlr Express, you can apply a lot of filters and effects to make your photo even better.
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  6. 6
    Transfer the photo using the USB cable to PC.
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  7. 7
    You can scan as many photos as you want.
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Tips Tricks & Warnings

  • Do not zoom while scanning photos.
  • Make sure that there is a lot of light, but that the photo is not directly facing the light.
  • Do not get too close or go too far away from the photo.
  • Avoid hand shakes by standing or sitting steadily as you take the picture.
  • Convert it to PDF in case you would like your photos to appear like a document.

What Types of Things You Can Scan with Your Smartphone

You can basically scan any photo or document with your smartphone, as long as it can be captured by the camera. Your smartphone indeed makes it easier to do this, compared to years ago when you would need first a huge scanner at home or in the office to be able to scan anything. This comes very handy especially if you are outside and you need to capture a document immediately.

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Here are a few things that are commonly scanned by a smartphone:

  1. 1
    Business cards.
    Instead of having to bring albums and albums of business cards, most people just scan a business card through their phones and then save the photo in their image gallery for reference later on. Some people would convert it to a PDF file so that it won't consume too much space and then name it according to company or contact person so it's easier to find later on. For better classification, you can also save it in your Dropbox and then divide it into folders. You can do a search and access it later on, especially if you have continuous internet connection.
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  2. 2
    Most people only keep receipts because they would like to refer to it later on. In this case, it can be very messy having to keep all those tape receipts and storing them. Most of them are not even the same in terms of size, so it's definitely going to be a mess to keep them. What some people would do would be to just scan them and then throw away the hard copy. This way, even when you need to refer to it later on, you still have a record, but definitely without the mess. This is also beneficial for receipts which tend to get erased after a while. You are able to preserve the information it contains, while it is still readable.
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  3. 3
    Meeting or school notes on the board.
    Years ago, it used to be that when students or meeting participants need to take notes, they will have to write all throughout the meeting. If they would like a word-processed transcript, they would have to do double work and type it into the computer. With the advent of technology, this need not be the case anymore. What most people do these days is that they take a photo of the blackboard for reference anymore. In case they would like to convert it into a more formal document, they would convert the photo into a PDF document. It looks the same as the previous decades' microfiche system.
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  4. 4
    Amazingly, as long as you avoid the shakes during the time that you take the photo, you can effectively scan a whole document. Just make sure you are able to cover through the entire page. If you are scanning several pages and would like to convert it into one continuous file, you can do so by converting it to PDF using the PDF app on your phone as well. After which, if you need to access the file in another computer, you can email it to yourself or save it in the cloud.
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Referencing this Article

If you need to reference this article in your work, you can copy-paste the following depending on your required format:

APA (American Psychological Association)
Scan Photos with Your Smartphone. (2015). In VisiHow. Retrieved Mar 25, 2017, from

MLA (Modern Language Association) "Scan Photos with Your Smartphone." VisiHow, Accessed 25 Mar 2017.

Chicago / Turabian "Scan Photos with Your Smartphone." Accessed Mar 25, 2017.

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Categories : Noindexed pages | General Android Mobiles & Tablets

Recent edits by: Eng, Lynn, Mohsin

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