Use iPad: As a Scanner

It took me eight and a half minutes to scan a document using my 'traditional' scanner. I first had to uncover it from under the stack of office documents that had accumulated in the office corner. It took only...

iPad is a scanner. 

The fastest, easiest and most efficient way of getting a document digitised I've found in almost two decades of educating and web-developing is iPad. 

It took me ages to scan a document using my 'traditional' scanner. 

I first had to uncover it from under the stack of office documents that had accumulated in the office corner. 

I switched it on. It took it's time booting up, warming up and finally start zzzaacking at me. 

I already had the document I wanted to scan inside the scanner. 

I pressed the 'scan' button. 

It squawked at me. Then it began slowly sliding a glowing blue bar beneath the glass panel my doco rested on. It made it to the end of the machine, aackked again, and retracted noisily. 

I lifted the glass panel... my scan was complete!

The process of 'scanning in' a document took ages and made lots of noise. 

Use Your iPad as a Scanner

It took me only a few seconds to take a scan of this page using my iPad. 

I used the iPad camera. 

 A "scan" of something essentially means you're looking to DIGITISE it. 

Then you'll do something with that image in the digital world (email, edit, or store it). Or you'll print it out. 

You can do all that with your iPad.

Three taps and it's done. A few more taps it's eMailed to where you need it. It's high resolution, can be inserted into documents on your Mac or PC, and can be sketched on using the right apps, compiled or just stored for posterity. 

The Camera App on your iPad is a very handy tool NOT JUST for taking pictures. 

Having a camera allows you to digitise data almost instantly, and make use of that digitisation in fun or productive ways. 

Things you may want to scan in:

  • That document you need to send whatsisname. 
  • A cool fingerpainting your child just painted.
  • A report, a certificate.
Stuff from the past... Memorabilia.
  • That family photo from way back when to email everyone... they all have email addresses nowadays. 
  • The family tree that the genealogist in the family created so everyone has a copy. 
  • Those school-kid documents like old report cards
  • Arts and craft projects


  • Household documents like instruction books and warranties
  • Seed packets for later in the season. 

iPad Vs Scanner Video Comparison:

Yes, this video is 'taking the mickey'. Watch how long it takes to scan something, even with bits edited out, and watch how fast an iPad scans a document in.