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How to scan documents with Android

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Published on Jun 14, 2018

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You have a very important document that you have scanned (maybe on the fly) but you don't have a scanner or your is so old that the computer no longer recognizes him? Well, you're not the only person on earth to have this problem and it will not be a simple tool, almost secondary, to block your intentions.

When the cameras of smartphones have evolved so so much exponentially, manufacturers have well thought to take advantage of all of their features for the use and productivity of the office. Until some time ago, if you wanted to have a digital copy of a document, perhaps signed, there was a need or a scanner or a photo-which, often, was move or unclear, today it is not so. On the store, in fact, there are many applications that allow us to scan (yes, scan the documents with a camera and some algorithms to solve this boring problem: the quality will not be high like that of a scanner, but the results will be more satisfactory than you think. Of course, there is also the fact that these apps can't do miracles: their algorithms allow to obtain good results (in some cases excellent), but exploit, of course, what they have available that is an external light and a camera lens. For optimum results it is preferable to have these requirements:

It goes without saying that a camera a little, and resolute, with an opening focal quite low, and with low-light capture does not allow you to have the best results. Our proof will be specially made with a smartphone with features discrete that will work with a light enough “difficult”. That said, let's get started!

Probably the most famous application. Office Lens is part of the Office suite of Microsoft and allows you to scan in a very short time to a document.
As is well explained by the app's page in the various store, the Lens not only allows you to “scan” sheet or documents of this kind, but also whiteboards, televisions, photos and posters.
The operation of the Lens is rather simple. By opening the application, in fact, we will be immediately in front of a screen similar to the one of our camera where we will not only take the photos, where the software will start scanning but also to choose the type of subject to be scanned: Lens, allows us to choose between Whiteboard, Document, business Card and Photos but, as you can see in our case, photographing a different subject (television), the result is always satisfactory.

Lens, after shooting, it allows to apply some changes to the basic photo and then decide what format to save them. You can choose between photos in the Collection (and then into a specific folder on the smartphone), format .PDF, format note to OneNote, the OCR format for Word and PTX format for PowerPoint. In addition, it will be possible to save them automatically to a folder of OneDrive. It is possible to save multiple photos at the same time.

But how does it work? Simply Lens works on two fundamental aspects, the balance of the colors and the perspective. The first aspect is crucial especially when we talk about text documents, as, next to the total resolution, as important is the ability to distinguish the various elements of the document. The perspective, then, allows you to view the document “straight” also in the case in which, as in our example, the photo (for issues of brightness) is taken from a position oblique. Lens also recognizes pictures or other documents on the inside of a sheet of paper, then you can save it (with same quality) without scanning the entire document root.

Play Store | Office Lens

The most downloaded application on the Play Store, with more than 100,000,000 downloads. CamScanner is definitely one of the best apps for scanning documents, photos or other subjects.
CamScanner offers a few more options than the Lens and, probably, it is even more easy and intuitive to use.
The strength in the most of CamScanner is definitely the possibility it offers the user to change the final result according to his preferences: from changing the shape to be scanned (useful) to the color balance and brightness over the changes basic to the photo, such as rotate, size etc

Also CamScanner offers modes that change depending on the subject: greeting Card, PPT, Documents, identity Card and QR Code.
The recognition of the contours seems to be better than that of the Lens, also for the choice and the change of the shape to be scanned, but the final result seem to err a bit in quality. Also CamScan works on the perspective and balance of the colors but, as said, it allows you to make changes on this last aspect in order to enhance the user experience (and in some cases manual editing can improve the quality of the documents, “difficult”).
The application offers, then, a space free cloud that increases thanks to the sharing of the application, to the invitations, to the reviews and the recording.

Play Store | CamScanner

There are cases in which it is important to extract from the document a digital copy of the text. You may know that the result will not always be 100% accurate but it is still possible to do so.

 

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