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The smartphone and tablets have been forcefully incorporated into the world of work, becoming not only essential communication tools, but also effective productivity tools. These tools include those that will enable us to scan, edit and manage documents in electronic format from mobile devices .
The camera that all mobile devices incorporate will be the way to digitize the documentation, using it directly with the Camera application (both Android and iOS) or through a specialized document scanning application.
The steps to follow to obtain a properly scanned document will be the same both using a specific application and, if we don’t want more trouble, photographing the document directly. These simple steps are what we will review in this article.
Our first task will be to take the photograph, later we will cut it to avoid excessive margins, we will choose the appropriate light by modifying the contrast and the luminosity of the shot, to end by joining the various photographs in the case of multi-page documents and choosing a suitable format that allows us to use the document without size problems.
Using the camera
The first step will be to get a photo as correct as possible of the page or pages that we want to scan. For this we will try to take it with the camera as parallel as possible to the document in order to avoid annoying perspective effects. To do this, we begin by placing the document in a free space that allows us a certain margin around the document, avoiding, as far as possible, creating shadows on the document.
Once the photograph is taken, the next step is to cut the document to eliminate the frame and the unwanted spaces. This option is available from the same camera application in both Android and iOS.
Cropping consists of choosing the part of the photograph taken that forms the document, eliminating the unwanted edges or parts. To do this we will use the lines and guide points and accept the cut.
Once the document has been cut, the task of improving the brightness and contrast of the photograph remains.
As we can see, the camera is for all purposes, a scanner more than enough to be able to digitize documents and incorporate them into our mobile phone. But this task can be made even easier with an application that integrates all these steps. All of them have the sequence of tasks that we have already indicated, so we will go on to explain the function of document scanning with one of them.
Among the most renowned applications we find a classic with a long history, CAMSCANNER, which with more than 60 million installations and an outstanding rating in all its versions is a highly successful application from the INTSIG company.
On iOS we currently find Camscanner Free free, the version without advertising and without watermark on scanned documents (Camscanner +) costs € 0.99. In Android, the license that avoids advertising and watermarking costs € 1.47. In addition to these versions, the company offers an extension of Premium services with a monthly subscription of € 4.99 or an annual subscription of € 49.99.
Take the picture
and we will choose if it is a single document or we will scan several, with the option “Singular” or “Multiple”. Likewise, we must choose whether or not we will display a guide line using the grid option, this option is always recommended since it helps a lot when composing the photograph, and finally we will activate or not the flash depending on the ambient light.
We will focus the document to make, as we have already mentioned, a photo with a good front perspective. The better we perform this task, the less corrections we will need later, considerably improving the quality of the document.
Select the crop
Once the photo is taken, or photos if we have chosen the multiple scan option, we must choose the crop of the photo taken. The application proposes a cutout through a series of points that we can move to match the part of the photographed document that we want to digitize. In the following images we can see how the green rectangle marks the default cut proposed by the application with the eight points to establish the manual cut, in the first case (it takes more perpendicular to the document) the proposed cut is already adequate, in the next two we see how the proposed cut has had to be modified by moving the points of the cut frame.
Optimize brightness and contrast
Once the cut is admitted, we go to the dialog to decide the lighting of the document, for which we have various possibilities: automatic, original, black and white, gray range, etc. The “Magical” option is usually sufficient under normal lighting conditions to produce a readable document with a satisfactory appearance.