Scan documents for official translations

To translate official documents, I ask clients to send a copy of the original in electronic form. The easiest and most obvious option is to take a photo of the document using a cell phone, as most of modern phones allow to achieve a decent quality. This is quite an acceptable option, but often the photo shows foreign objects (fingers, glasses, and once the client sent me a birth certificate, photographed next to the shoe!) The ideal option is to scan documents with a desktop scanner. If the client has access to such a tool, I always advise to follow this path. However, what to do if there is no scanner and an image of an official document of good quality is required?

There is a way out, and your smartphone will come to your rescue again! There are special apps that can be downloaded and installed, such as CamScanner, Tiny Scanner, Microsoft Office Lens – PDF Scanner and others. However, today I will describe ways to scan documents that do not require additional software to be installed.

Scan documents with Android phone

  1. Open the Google Drive app .
  2. In the bottom right, tap Add .
  3. Tap Scan  .
  4. Take a photo of the document you’d like to scan.
    • Adjust scan area: Tap Crop .
    • Take photo again: Tap Re-scan current page  .
    • Scan another page: Tap Add  .
  5. To save the finished document, tap Done  .


Scan documents with Iphone or Ipad

  1. Launch the Files app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. On the Browse screen, tap the ellipsis button (the circle containing three dots) at the top-right corner of the screen. Alternately, navigate to the folder in which you want to save your scans, then swipe down on the screen to reveal the folder options bar and tap the ellipsis button on the left.
  3. Select Scan Documents from the pop-up menu.
  4. By default, the camera will try to detect a document in the viewfinder and automatically capture it. If you don’t want this to happen, tap Auto in the top-right corner of the camera interface to change to the Manual setting.
  5. Tap on the three circles at the top to choose color, grayscale, black and white, or photo for your scan. The default option is color.
  6. Tap on the flash icon if you need to adjust the flash options. The default is auto, which will cause the flash to go off if you’re in a room with low light.
  7. Focus the camera on your document, making sure the yellow box is lined up with the edges of your document.
  8. When it’s aligned, tap the camera shutter button to snap a photo.
  9. Adjust the edges of your scan to get a perfect alignment. The app will automatically correct for any tilting.
  10. If the scan is to your liking and you don’t want to scan any more pages, tap Done, then tap Save when you’re returned to the scanning interface. If you want to try the same scan again, choose Retake.

If you initiated the scan from the Browse screen of the Files app, you’ll be asked to select a folder in which to save your scanned documents. Otherwise, your scanned document(s) will be automatically saved as a PDF in the folder you previously navigated to.


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