iPhone and iPad Productivity

How to Scan Documents With Notes in iOS 11

Saikat Basu 03-10-2017

Now, thanks to iOS 11 and the Notes app (and a bit of help from the camera), you don’t need a document scanner The 7 Best Mobile Document Scanner Apps You don't need a scanner if you have a smartphone! With these Android, iOS, and Windows apps scanning is at your fingertips. Scan, save to PDF, and be done. Read More anymore.


The ability to scan any document with your mobile is an everyday need, invaluable if you want to go paperless to save receipts, index business cards, or just take quick screenshots of book covers for the record.

How to Use the iOS 11 Document Scanner

You probably have a document scanner app installed in your iPhone or iPad. Choose to uninstall it in favor of Apple’s own. Here’s how to scan a document or a business card with the new document scanner from the Notes app.

  1. Open the Notes app and an old or new note. The scanner is a core feature now.
  2. Tap the “+” symbol at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Select the Scan Documents option from the popup menu. Notice that there are several other features on offer like Take a Photo or Add Sketch.
    iOS-Document Scanner
  4. The camera opens and now you can point the camera at whatever you want to scan. The default scan option is automatic mode and color.

There are a few ways to fine-tune the scan:

  • A top row of icons lets you choose from grayscale or black/white for the scan. You can choose one after you take the scan as well.
  • Once the document is in focus, the camera fires automatically. You can also use the shutter button or the volume buttons to take a scan manually. The scanner allows you to adjust the corners of the scan manually. If the corners are okay, tap on Keep Scan.
  • The scanner stays in the camera view after the first scan for any more scan jobs (e.g. a multi-page document).

When you are finished with the scan, tap on the Save button at the bottom of the screen. Scans can be placed into the note that you opened at the beginning. I find it better to move the document scan out of the Notes app. I can share it or upload it to any other app like Google Drive, send it as an email attachment, create a PDF, or share via WhatsApp. Just hold down on the preview of the scans and hit Share when it appears.

You can also use the markup tools in the Notes app to annotate all over the document. There is no OCR feature yet, but that too could be around the corner.


Apple Notes is quickly turning into a productivity powerhouse. That’s quite a run from its simpler beginnings. Try the scanner now and answer this for us in the comments.

Is Apple’s document scanner on par with other alternatives? If not, which is your choice for an iDevice? 

Related topics: Apple Notes, iOS 11, Scanner.

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