How to scan documents with a smartphone: the best Android applications

How to perform scans from your Android smartphone? There are a few easy-to-use applications available for this purpose, many of them free of charge.

The interest of a scanner-type application lies in the fact that it allows you to share files that are much lighter than photos, which are also very easy to take. It automatically converts the “photographed” document to PDF format, and often adds some very useful functions. You can adjust brightness and contrast, crop documents and share them on social networks and email services, and even add annotations – there are usually many options.

Here we focus on the applications available on Android. If your smartphone is from Apple, follow the link to learn how to scan documents easily with an iPhone.


How to scan documents with a smartphone: the best Android applications

The very principle of a scanner application on Android is quite simple: it takes advantage of the quality of our mobile devices to take a picture of a document you want to scan. Then, they take care of determining its edges so that they can isolate it from the background.

And finally, they will work on retouching the photo so that it looks like a scanned document. Thus, the white becomes again perfectly white, the black becomes perfectly black, and the whole thing really looks like a scan as it was done before. The great strength of a scanner application on Android will thus be its capacity to detect the edges of the document in a photo, but also to transform it effectively into a scanned page whether it is a question of retouching the colorimetry or even the angle.


The CamScanner application is one of the most popular tools in this little game. Very easy to use – no need to create an account – it allows you to scan documents in color or black and white, adjust the level of detail, search for documents by keywords and share documents with contacts who can comment on them in annotations. To make a scan, simply click on the pictogram representing a camera, then let yourself be guided. If you use the application regularly, it is better to download the license (for a fee), which will allow you to remove ads and watermarks on the documents.


Microsoft has now started from scratch with the applications of its mobile office suite. Now, the Microsoft Office application brings all your documents together at a glance, but above all, it offers intelligent and very practical actions. Among them, of course, is the possibility to scan a document into PDF format, which is of interest to us in this article.

The application is very simple to use, and in just a few actions we find ourselves with a PDF file of our document, automatically trimmed to A4 format to give the impression of a real scan to the scanner. The strong point of Microsoft Office is that it is completely free and without advertisements.


Alternatively, SwiftScan offers much the same service… but with a slightly more colorful and eye-friendly interface that you might like a little more.

In fact, it is one of the most popular scanning services on cell phones. SwiftScan is particularly appealing because of the filters it offers to apply to your documents and the ease of use of the option to add a few notes.


Just as focused on productivity as Office, Adobe Scan is extremely efficient and accurate and offers similar options. Scanning a multi-page document is just a few clicks away. There is no limit to the number of scans in the free version.

The name says it all: the application is part of the Adobe world, so it has an Adobe Document Cloud link to easily find your documents in your workspace.


Finally, a little reminder of what’s going on. Here’s how a scanner application on Android is going to work:

Take a picture of a document

Detect the edges of the targeted document

Revise the orientation to make it flat again.

Touch up the colorimetry to find the “scanner” effect again.

Save as PDF or image for sharing