Sure, a dedicated scanner is still great to have if you frequently need to scan a large handful of documents, but using your phone also works great if you only have a couple documents to scan every now and then. Here’s what we recommend for Android.
The Best Way to Scan Documents on Android: Google Drive
If you’re using an Android device, the best way to scan documents is through the Google Drive app, which comes pre-installed on pretty much every Android device these days.
You can scan documents directly into Google Drive by tapping the “+” button in the lower-right corner of the home screen.
When the menu slides up from the bottom, select “Scan”.
It may ask for permission to access the the phone’s camera. If so, tap on “Allow”.
When you are ready to scan your document, fill up the screen with the document as much as you can and tap the blue capture button. You can also shed a little light on the document by tapping the flash icon next to the capture button if your device has a flash. If your device doesn’t have a flash, this option won’t appear.
After you scan the document, a preview of it will immediately appear. Don’t worry if it looks like most of the document is cut off. This is where the crop tool comes into play. Tap on it to make cropping adjustments.
Tap, hold, and drag on the dots to change the area that is scanned and uploaded—you likely only need to mess with the corner dots for this.
Once finished, tap on the checkmark in the lower-right corner of the screen.
You have three options immediately after scanning something:
- Tap the plus icon to add more pages to the document.
- To redo a scan, tap the circular arrow in the middle.
- Tap the checkmark icon to finish and upload the document to Google Drive.
You can also make minor adjustments to your scans as you go. For instance, tapping on the painter’s palette in the top-right corner will allow you to change the scan’s color selection and cater it towards a specific kind of document. By default, the scanner will automatically pick the one it thinks is best.
Lastly, the three dots in the upper-right corner will let you delete, rename, and rotate the scan if need be.
Uploaded scans are added to Google Drive as PDFs and the names are prepended with the word “Scanned”, followed by the date and time. You can move, rename, or delete any of your scanned documents by clicking the three dots next to the file’s name.
You can also share your scanned documents from this menu by tapping on “Share Link”. This will share a link to the document on Google Drive, while “Send a Copy” will allow you to share the actual file over email, send it to Dropbox, and more.
Or, if you move to a desktop computer, you can even convert that scanned PDF into a document which you can then edit or export to Microsoft Word.