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How to Scan Documents in Notes and Third-Party Apps on the iPhone and iPad and Android

8 Jan 2021 1:38 PM | Anonymous

I have often written about genealogist's using digital scanners and scanner substitutes. (Use the "Search entire web site" box at to find my recent scanner-related articles.) for a list of some of the more recent scanner-related articles.) However, an article in Macworld by Glenn Fleishman surprised me.

Fleishman states, "Relatively few people buy stand-alone scanners these days unless they work with printed documents, photos, or photographic negatives, and most financial, medical, and legal documents show up in digital form—but not all."

I don't know where Fleishman got the information that scanner sales are declining. However, after thinking it over for a bit, I suspect he is correct. In fact, millions of people are now using their smartphones (and possibly tablet computers) as competent replacements for flatbed scanner hardware. In fact, I wrote about that in recent Plus Edition article at*)-Plus-Edition-News-Articles/9542976 and in a Standard Edition article at

I agree that dedicated hardware scanners are no longer required unless you "work with printed documents, photos, or photographic negatives." If you have one of the more recent "smartphones," you probably have a scanner substitute with you most all the time. That can be a lot more convenient than carrying a flatbed scanner with you on various trips!

Glenn Fleishman's article describes available software for use with Apple's iPhone and iPad devices. However, similar products are also available for Android devices. (I use my Android phone's scanner more often than I do the 2 scanners I own but that I always leave at home.) You might want to read Fleishman's article at

Of course, I will also recommend reading my own articles at and my Plus Edition article at*)-Plus-Edition-News-Articles/9542976.


  • 9 Jan 2021 4:16 AM | Anonymous
    To me, the main downside of using a camera to 'scan' is that it generates a MUCH bigger file-size than my scanner does. For a single page of text, the camera shot will be 3-5Mb, whereas via my scanner, it's often only 100-300Kb, so a thirtieth of the size.
    Storage IS getting cheaper, but there is a lot to scan...
    Link  •  Reply
    • 9 Jan 2021 6:58 AM | Anonymous
      A medium-quality "Photoshop" can bring that file size way down without affecting "usable" quality.
      Link  •  Reply

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