Turn Your Mobile Device into a Scanner!

July 18, 2015

Tablets and smart phones are an almost invaluable tool for therapists in the field. This value is expanded even more so when you take into consideration the hundreds of thousands of applications available from the app stores and all the functionality they bring. In workflow terms, they reduce the need for unnecessary amounts of paper work, allowing you processes that previously could not be accomplished on paper alone, and generally simplify the workload (sound familiar to another app you know?). Today we’re bringing you awareness of another app that can assist you in day to day activities.

CamScanner is an application we’ve come across that has the ability for users to take pictures of documents and turn them into PDF files, and even gives you the ability to save and share them. While there’s quite a few applications available that provide this ability, we’ve found CamScanner easy to use, available on popular platforms (Android and Apple), and is even available as a free application or you can pay for a premium version. By going to the app store on your device, you can search for CamScanner and choose to download it. Today we’ll cover a simple scenario with the application and show you how you can submit a scanned document as an email.

*Our example is using the free version of CamScanner with an Apple device. The process is similar for Android with some icons being located in different areas.

First let’s open the application. You should see the following screen. You have a variety of options such as searching for documents using the magnifying glass, organize them with the four squares, change the sort order with the up and down arrow icon, and even quick edit them with the check box, but we’ll focus on taking a picture of your document to scan it (notice you can also click on the image icon to load an image from your device to use instead of taking a picture).

CamScanner Opened

Once you’ve tapped the camera icon you’ll be able to snap a picture of your document. After the picture has been taken, you’ll end up at this point. Here we can trim our picture to just focus on the document. Use the transparent circles to hold and drag the borders until they outline your document. Accept your changes with the checkbox.

CamScanner Snap Picture

After accepting, you’ll see the PDF preview of your document. CamScanner gives you a multitude of tools near the top of the picture to adjust the coloring, contrast and appearance. Using the ‘auto’ button will correct the image to what the application feels is ideal. Once complete, please submit with the check button.

CamScanner PDF

After completing you’ll be shown a preview of your document. You can tap the document itself to see it, and you have options on the bottom section of the screen. You can add additional images to scan with the document to create a batch, or send the document to people using the email icon. Tapping the more button (three dots) will give you a convenient list with all your options. For our example, we’re choosing email.

CamScanner Preview

This screen, once choosing email will allow you to select what format you would like to email the document in. Your options are shown with the size of the file in parenthesis. We chose PDF file.

CamScanner Email

After we’ve chosen our attachment type, were brought to the email screen where you can choose your recipient, optionally CC people, enter in the subject and body of the email. Your documentation attachment will be listed below. When everything is filled out tap Send to send your email.

CamScanner Send Email

After the email has been sent, you’ll see a final prompt showing you your document, returning you to a screen with the ability to take more pictures to scan, or look through the documentation you have created already.

CamScanner Done

As stated earlier, this application goes much beyond simply letting you take pictures and sending them, but also gives you the ability to transfer them in different types of formats, manage them, and even edit their appearance for a better scan. This application gives agency users, therapy company staff, and therapists the ability to save and send scanned images as PDF files, which can then easily be uploaded to their own electronic systems (such as therapyBOSS!).

We hope you found this information useful, please feel free to contact us if you have any comments or questions at all.



As we were wrapping this blog entry up on CamScanner, Microsoft released its version of a very similar application. Office Lens is a new release from Microsoft for iOS and Android systems. Office Lens gives users the ability to take pictures of almost any document type (forms, business cards, whiteboards, notes, menus, etc) and save them to Microsoft’s OneNote (Microsoft’s free note taking application) or convert them to popular formats for use in programs like Microsoft word and Microsoft power point. You can even select pictures from your existing image library. It also lets you save them as PDF files, which you can then use to email, message, or upload to your system.

What really struck me when I was able to use the application was how it uses your camera to ‘guess’ what the document is when your framing your picture. That way it’s already lined up even before you take the snapshot! It also automatically cropped and cleaned the image up after the pictures taken. These two little tricks make the entire process very quick and more user friendly. It’s free to use and we recommend you try either application, or others, to narrow down what you feel more comfortable with.