Recent News Articles

How to Turn Your Smartphone Into a Flatbed Scanner to Sign Forms or Digitize Text

9 May 2022 9:17 AM | Anonymous

I often highlight articles in other publications that I believe will be of interest to genealogists. Here is another example of that:

"You may have a flatbed scanner at home or perhaps one of those 'all in one' printer/scanner/copier machines, but did you know your smartphone’s camera can also double as a flatbed scanner?

"It’s not only fast and convenient to scan something when away from your computer, but the quality is surprisingly good, thanks to much better camera sensors and smarter software.

"Your iPhone or Android device is also ideal for digitizing old photos (in photo frames, albums or hanging on the wall), documents (menus, contracts, vaccination proof), notes, business cards, whiteboards and receipts (ideal for expense tracking or reimbursement) – and then storing those images for when you need them or sending them to someone else, if desired, via email or text."

I have used my smartphone many times to take images at local archives, of microfilm, and even of taking images of old family photographs when visiting a distant relative's home.#@#_WA_-_CURSOR_-_POINT_#@#

Today's "interesting article was written by Marc Saltzman and is published in the Yahoo/Finance web site at:


  • 9 May 2022 11:51 AM | Anonymous
    The article includes steps for scanning a document using an iPhone. The same steps apply to an iPad. Unfortunately, the steps produce a PDF attachment in the iOS "Notes" app. For a document, that may be what you want. For a photograph/image, a PDF is not optimal. PDFs are *not* images; the PDF format is a container that is intended to reproduce a printed document and the container may include images, text, and other items. As it says in an aside at the bottom of the iPhone section, "If you’re digitizing a paper photo, it’s probably better to open the Camera and snap the photo and you will have many more editing and sharing options."
    Link  •  Reply
    • 9 May 2022 7:39 PM | Anonymous
      I certainly don't see any instructions. Have I missed something or is it due to my being a freebie?
      Link  •  Reply
      • 10 May 2022 5:12 AM | Anonymous
        Did you follow the link at the bottom of the excerpt above to read the full article?
        Link  •  Reply
  • 10 May 2022 9:13 AM | Anonymous
    This is great. I wanted to try the "scan text" option. But that option never comes up in Notes app. I'm on an SE with iOS 15.4.1
    Any suggestions?
    Link  •  Reply
    • 10 May 2022 10:27 AM | Anonymous
      Click square bottom right to start a new note.
      Click the plus sign lower right and then click the camera icon. Or just click the camera icon if you already see it.
      Then chose the scan documents option from the list.
      Be certain to save your scan!
      Link  •  Reply
      • 10 May 2022 10:33 AM | Anonymous
        I have same IOS as you do but it dies not offer a Scan Text for me. I have a 8+. A bit old! Is your phone old too?
        Link  •  Reply

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