How To Scan Documents On iPhone
How to Scan Documents on iPhone

How To Scan Documents On iPhone

Do you need to scan documents on iPhone? Well, you’re in luck—zShot is not only a video editor but also a document scanner app, photo editor, collage maker, and slideshow maker.

In this post, we discussed the importance of scanning documents, and how to scan documents on iPhone using zShot app, the Notes app, and the Files app. 

Scanning documents: Why it’s still important

Do businesses still use paper documents these days? Yes, many companies still do—from your mom-and-pop shops to the average corner office in Manhattan. In fact, a couple of industries’ operations function mainly with paper, or with paper and computers hand-in-hand. 

In business

scanning an invoice on iPhone - sscan documents on iPhone
Scanning files like receipts and invoice statements is an essential in business.

The Accounting and Legal industries still use paper documents for their invoices, paperwork, etc. Let’s not forget the Medical industry as well, and their use of paper for patient records, medical prescriptions, and payslips. We also have the public school and homeschooling sectors that still use paper for exams and printables for quizzes. 

Moreover, even though many businesses are becoming paperless, they still do use paper with their day-to-day operations. That is why scanning documents is still an essential practice in businesses today. 

Businesses that use paper can’t just transition to being paperless overnight. Securing both hard and soft copies of their paperwork is a great contingency action, which will give them peace of mind.

Moreover, large-scale archiving of important documents takes time, skill, and expertise. 

In self-employment, freelancing, remote working, etc.

girl scanning a file on her phone -  scan documents on iPhone
Self-employed people need a handy and reliable document scanner app.

How about self-employed people? To individuals who work in a home office, scanning documents is still important as well. Particularly, it plays a role in how an individual manages their expenses.

For instance, did you know that small business owners and self-employed individuals have trouble with expense tracking? Some even claim that they often lose their receipts. This spells trouble because organizing receipts is a crucial part of tracking expenses. 

Poor expense tracking will affect how small business owners and freelancers gain profit. Simply not keeping track of your expenses will likely make you go over budget.

Say, what if you had the urge to subscribe to a software app, but you haven’t been tracking your expenses? If you had only practiced good management of your expenses, paying a hefty subscription fee to an app would have been off-limits. 

Part of good expense management is saving copies of your receipts, whether they’re digital or paper. That is why document scanning is still important. But what if you’re not that convinced yet to buy a scanning device? 

Can you scan documents on iPhone?

Yes, you can scan documents on iPhone. Brands like Xerox argue that scanning device is way better than smartphone cameras. While they do have some valid points, smartphone cameras like the iPhone provide an unmatched benefit: convenience. 

If you scan documents on your iPhone, a few steps in the scanning process will be eliminated. You may have to use a third-party app like zShot or your iPhone’s Notes app, but one thing is for sure: your workflow will be more efficient. This is especially true, whether you’re running a small business remotely or juggling three clients at a time as a freelancer. 

Plus, with the recent developments of the iPhone camera, you won’t fall short with the scanned document’s quality either.

On that note, if you were wondering how an iPhone can scan documents effectively, read on. 

How to scan documents on iPhone

There are three ways to scan documents on iPhone. Here’s how:

Launch the zShot document scanner 

zShot app - scan documents on iPhone
zShot app’s Document Scanner
  1. On your zShot app, tap Document Scanner. 
  2. Tap Scan Documents. You could also import a file from your gallery.
  3. Point the camera to your document. 
  4. Squeeze out the viewfinder if you want to isolate important paragraphs.
  5. Tap the red button to capture the document. 
  6. You can resize, crop, or rotate the position of your document by tapping the “Edit” button. 
  7. Blur the words you’d want to redact by tapping the hide button. 
  8. Add annotations using the marker-shaped button. 
  9. To eSign the document, use the signature button and trace your signature on any part of the document. 
  10. Tap Save if you’re done with your changes.
photo of a motorbike -  scan documents on iPhone
zShot’s document scanner can let you eSign, annotate, and edit your files.

Use your iPhone’s Notes app

  1. Open your Notes app.
  2. Create a new note. 
  3. Tap the plus button at the bottom. 
  4. A menu will appear. Tap the “Scan Documents” option.
  5. Position your camera above the document. Make sure the table’s surface, where your document is placed, is dark-colored. This way, your iOS camera or iSight camera can easily detect the document.
  6. At the top area, tap the Auto mode so that your iPhone will automatically find the document, crop the background, and save your document in its original size. No need to tap the shutter button for this.
  7. On the other hand, if you choose Manual mode, you can tap the shutter button to start scanning the document. 
  8. Press Save at the bottom right corner of your screen. 
  9. Your scanned document will appear on your recently created note.

Open the Files app

  1. Open your Files app. 
  2. Tap on a folder in which you want to save your scanned document. 
  3. Long-press the empty space in the folder. 
  4. A menu will appear. Tap Scan Documents. 
  5. You can choose from Auto or Manual if you prefer to include the document’s background or not.
  6. After scanning the document, it will appear on the bottom of your iPhone’s screen. 
  7. In case your iPhone didn’t perfectly cut out the document, you can crop out your document’s corners to make it look cleaner.
  8. Tap on the document to make some changes. 
  9. At the top of the screen, press the filter button to change the document’s color. 
  10. You can choose Color, Grayscale, Black and White, or Photo if it has a picture. 
  11. Tap Done at the top left area of the screen. Tap Save at the bottom right area of the screen.
  12. iPhone will automatically save your document as a PDF.

How to scan a barcode on iPhone

It’s easy to scan a QR code with your iPhone. Here’s how to do it: 

  1. Open your Camera app. 
  2. Point your camera to the QR code. 
  3. Your iPhone will automatically recognize the code. 
  4. After that, you will receive a notification at the top of your screen. 
  5. Tap the notification to go to the link. 

4 file formats for scanned documents

a woman scanning a page of a book with her phone - scan documents on iPhone
You can scan documents and save them in PDF, JPEG, PNG, or TIFF.

How do you save scanned documents? And what’s the right file type and when to use them? Read this guide: 

1. Portable Document Format (PDF)

If your document has photos, then PDF can be its best format. It instantly compresses images so you don’t have to. PDF is the best if not the most common file format for scanned documents because it’s well-suited to display words, pictures, and photos with text on them. 

Moreover, you could even benefit from saving your scanned documents as PDFs if you use programs like Adobe Acrobat Pro. This program uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR), which converts your scanned PDFs into searchable documents. 

2. Portable Network Graphics (PNG)

Originally, the PNG format was created to send digital images on the internet easily. Today, it will bring you many benefits when you use it for scanned documents and printed photos. 

If you want to retain storage space and avoid pixelation in your document, then saving it in PNG will do. PNG reduces a file’s size without affecting its quality. It’s also a lossless file format, which means your document won’t appear pixelated even if it has blocks of text. 

3. Tagged Image File Format (TIFF)

Do you have a lot of space in your cloud storage or hard drive? And do you want to retain the 100% quality of your scanned document or photo? You could save your scanned document as TIFF. 

Because it doesn’t compress the file, TIFF eats a huge chunk of storage space. Saving your scanned document in TIFF will display more colors and details than the other formats. You can also scan more than one document as a single page if you save them in TIFF.

4. Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG)

JPEG is another great file format when it comes to image compression and quality. If you are scanning documents with large photos, JPEG can reduce your file into a much smaller size. 

However, if your document contains graphics with lines, saving it in JPEG will damage the quality. If you want your documents to appear colorful, then save them as JPEG.


As you can see, scanning documents is an essential practice even in an almost paperless world. That is why it’s only imperative for you to know the ropes of scanning documents on iPhone. And if you’re a busy business owner, it’s even more crucial that you install a reliable document scanner app like zShot. 

Related questions 

Can you scan multiple documents on iPhone?

Yes, you can. Whether you’re using zShot, your Notes app, or your Files app, you can scan more than one document at a time. 

Where are scanned documents saved on the iPhone?

It depends on which file you used to scan the documents, but most likely you can easily find your scanned documents on the Files app.

How to save scanned documents from Notes to iPhone?

You can find your scanned documents on your Files app.

zShot – Best app to scan documents on iPhone

Why use zShot to scan documents on iPhone? zShot is 100% free, but its features are worth more than its price. 

Our document scanner app lets you edit, annotate, and eSign your documents. Besides being a great document scanning app, you can do four other important tasks on zShot. 

You can edit videos, enhance photos, make a quick collage, or create slideshows. It’s perfect for a busy content creator or a business owner who wants a reliable all-in-one app. 

zShot is now available for iOS and Android devices.

Additional Scanning Resources

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