Scanners used to be very complex and were prone to errors, making uploading documents a drawn-out experience many people would rather forget. However, these days, it’s easier than it’s ever been. This article will show you how to scan and upload a document regardless of which device you’re using.

Step 1 – Connecting a Scanner

If you’ve purchased a printer recently, there’s a good chance it already has a scanner built-in. Further, it’s likely WiFi compatible. If it is, go ahead and connect it to your network now. To do this, scan for networks and enter your wireless passphrase when your network name pops up onscreen.

how to scan a document

If your scanner doesn’t have wireless compatibility, that’s fine too – just connect it to your PC using the cable. So, how should you orient your paper?

Step 2 – Inserting Your Document

Most scanners feature icons that tell you how to orient your document properly. It’s actually not all that important since the scanned image can always be rotated if needed later. Open up the scanner’s lid and line your document up with the icons, if shown. Make sure the text you want to scan is face down!

how to scan

When you’re ready, shut the lid and press the Scan button on your device. If you’re lucky, you’ll be given the option to choose between data types (JPEG, PDF, and so on). If not, don’t worry – everything can be converted once the scan is on the computer.

how to scan from printer to computer

Step 3 – Opening, Editing, and Modifying Scanned Images

Usually, there’s a folder or program that will open automatically when an ongoing scan is detected. Here, you’ll be able to view the scanned document. Let’s say something’s not right though, what do you do next?

If the image is at a strange angle or larger than you’d like, you can easily fix this by opening it in an image editor. For example, in Microsoft Paint, you just select the entire document, click the Rotate button and select your preferred angle. You can also crop the excess here if you’d like.

how to scan to computer

We wrote a short message on lined notebook paper. You’ll notice that some detail is lost in the final document; this is an unfortunate but unavoidable part of the process, so try not to include any highly detailed images in your documents if possible. Now, this process assumes you have a scanner. What if you’d like to scan a document from your cell phone?

Scanning Documents Using a Cell Phone

To scan straight from your phone, you’ll need the Google Drive app. This comes as standard on most modern iPhones and Android devices so there’s a good chance you have it already and didn’t know. Open the app, sign in, click the blue plus icon in the bottom-right, and choose scan.

You’ll be asked if the app can have certain permissions. These are just so that it can access the camera, so don’t worry about it too much. You can always revoke the permissions later if you’d like.

how do i scan a document

Snap a picture of your document. You’ll be shown a preview – feel free to take another photo if you’d like by clicking the arrow icon in the middle of the screen.

The app will try to guess where the document is, but it’s not always accurate. Sometimes you’ll find a crucial piece is missing, for instance, or some details (like our signature line) kept disappearing. It might help if you try different angles, with the flash on, focusing on different sections, and so forth. So what are our final thoughts on this method?

scan documents

As evidenced by the image above, an actual scanner does a far better job at maintaining fine details. However, if you’re in a pinch and need to scan a document fast, Google Drive provides a reasonable way to do so.

We would add that scanning via Google Drive is clearly insufficient for business applications. You’re not going to want to scan contracts, for instance, but for quick copies of notes or doodles, it’s great.

Conclusion

There’s a ton of office software out there that provides additional functionality but if you just want to scan a simple document, there’s really no need for it. The process is pretty straightforward – just connect your scanner, hit the scan button, and your operating system takes care of the rest.

You already know how to scan a document, maybe you want to know on how to set an alarm MacBook. Read our guide, right here!

Justin Howe

Writer

Electrician and DIY specialist Justin deleted his own successful tech blog to write expert product reviews and buying guides together with his friend Robert.

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