Snapter – Scan Your Documents Without A Scanner

snapter logo1   Snapter   Scan Your Documents Without A ScannerOther than taking photos, what other use do you have for your digital camera? With Snapter, you can now use your digital camera for another purpose: turn it into a mobile flatbed scanner.

Snapter is software that lets you use a digital camera as a mobile scanner. With the shots that you have taken, the software automatically crops, stretches, flattens images of documents into portable images and make them seem as though they have been scanned on a flatbed scanner.

Some of you may be wondering: since you already have a digital camera to take snapshots, why do you still need a software to do the conversion? Well, there are several advantages in Snapter. First of all, it comes with a perspective correction that can take a slanted/disoriented image and rotate it to the right orientation.

Secondly, if you are taking snapshots of pages of a book, it can be really difficult to read the text from the raw images. Snapter has the ability to split the pages into two different images and correct the curvature distortion.

Thirdly, Snapter enhances the images and make them easier to read.

Snapter supports images of different forms. You can use it to convert snapshots of documents, notes written on a whiteboard, namecards or pages from a book. The following screenshots show the tests that I have done with different materials and the results are very satisfying.

Here I printed out a copy of one of my articles that I wrote for MakeUseOf. I took a horizontal snapshot of the printout and input it to Snapter. It successfully rotated the image to the correct orientation, cropped the side and sharpen the image for easy reading.

snapter document2   Snapter   Scan Your Documents Without A Scanner

Next, I took a snapshot of two pages of a book and input them to Snapter. It detects the curvature of the book and splits the pages into the left and right page. Similarly, it crops and sharpen the images for easy reading.

snapter book2a   Snapter   Scan Your Documents Without A Scanner

snapter book2b   Snapter   Scan Your Documents Without A Scanner

There are both free and paid versions of Snapter. You can download the free version and enjoy the full functionality for the first 14 days. After that, the software is still functional, but it will add a tagline and light watermark on your images. If all you need is to convert the images to a portable version so you can read while on the move, the free version is good enough for you.

If you want to use the result for your commercial project and you don’t want to have the watermark, you will have to get the paid version which cost $20 (Lite version) or $49 (Full version).

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I Purchased the Pro version. It has a weird dependency on MS NET that is a hassle if you have other applications that conflict with that version of NET. Usually, NET framework dependencies are enough to scare me off.

Anyway, this works OK for 1 or 2 images, but requires too much handholding for any kind of bulk processing. The problem is holding the pages flat of thick books. The deskewing algorithm doesn’t do too well there. To do this right, you would have to lay a flat piece of glass on the book and put it up against a black background. This much work effectively eliminates the convenience.

Damien Oh

No doubt there are some serious works that need to be done for bulk processing, but instead if you use a flatbed scanner to scan the whole book, the procedure may be even more troublesome.


Hi Damien,

I’ll have a look at this one but googling around I found another free program that turns a photographed or scanned image into a text file in one go, they even seem to have a mobile version in the works:



Damien Oh

Nicole, thanks for the recommendation. It seems a cool feature. I will check it out.


I thought makeuseof had a policy of only reviewing free programs/sites. This program is free for only 14 days – then it is crippled by displaying watermark and tagline.

max whirl

Really? Your whining over a watermark? that’s not “crippling”. Seems reasonable to me, you’d still be able to read your pages, etc. why not let them review whatever they think we’d be interested in.

Regarding the software itself, seems promising but where’s the OCR technology? That’s what would get me interested.

Damien Oh

It really depend on what you need it for. For me, I use it to convert images to a portable format so I can read it while on the move. The watermark doesn’t really affect the quality at all.


Sounds like a useful tool, even for straightening out those occasional photos or scans from a book.

John Jones

Wow dude, that was pretty amazing stuff.


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Seems like a great tool. But I would only use it to scan textbook pages in, and if it is a hassle to do those, I don’t know if it’s worth it.


For $49, you could have just bought a scanner…

Rahul Nimawat

Thanks for the useful info.

I will surely try this piece of software and may be buy the lite version too.


I’m going to try out this software and post a full review about it on my blog. by the looks of it this software rocks.

Douglas Sowash

ha. someone was telling me that I could take pictures of books in Chapters and do something like this. I tried it at Chapters in Greenville almost got caught.

Damien Oh

Ha…you better be careful the next time round.


Indeed this is a very useful tool for us.


Thanks for the post.Very useful…


I believe google is using a canon rebel XT to archive books and stuff at


as a spy, i find this software most useful.

Rich Hill

Sounds like an awesome tool that has been needed like forever!

I did just try it on a couple of images I had on my hard drive, one was a two page spread of a book printed in 1813 that was very clear to read in the original but curved and yellow/brownish color. The other was a the bottom part of a manuscript.

Both documents came out totally black and unreadable after the scan. Maybe I’m doing something wrong but there does not seem to be any instructions on how to fix these sorts of things.

This is just my first response and will test more.

I hope it does what they say, that would be so cool.

Damien Oh

Snapter is rather strict about the border and background of the image. It need to have a distinct border of direct contrast with the image or clear background with nothing blocking in the top and bottom. You can read more about it at


Very nice tips and Trick for me
Thank you


the guy above me is a fake…
(he’s right though, people in our field use this a lot)


oops, I was referring to the poster further above, with the pseudonym “James”


I found this writeup and software concept very interesting. However I found your choice of scanned books hope-crushing. I had high hopes of there being linux support based on that book scan but as far as I can tell from their website and forums, they lack linux support and go as far as saying they don’t have any intentions of gaining it (very roughly paraphrased). Have you got it running under wine or is the choice of books entirely coincidental?

Damien Oh

I ran it in Windows virtual machine with Ubuntu as host. I find that is the best way to run Windows application without having to sacrifice my favorite Ubuntu.

About Online Tips

Check out another similar apps which does the same job and is absolutely free.


this is pretty awesome software. Not many programs for scanning can really even take into account the curvature of the book and correct it.

ebru polat

Thank you so much for content, you would track;)


@ Naruto

I use Omnipage Pro 17 and it does not know shit about book curvature. The spliting of facing pages is also not very precise in omnipage.
I was already looking for software which can detect page borders and automatically crop the images at the margins. If it can do all that then this would definitely be a keeper.