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Convert handwriting to text Do more with your handwritten notes. Cloud sync Sync your notes and documents across all your devices. All your notes with you at all times. Presentation mode Hide the user interface for your audience and choose which part of the page to reveal for them. Apple Pencil has completely changed how I handle maintenance and repair logs, weekly scheduling, organizing thoughts for projects and papers, and managing sample tracking for running a six-isotope-instrument R1 laboratory. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. One of the best new features in iOS 11 is the built-in document scanner within the Notes app that lets you scan receipts, invoices, business cards, photographs, sheets of paper, etc.

In a true Apple fashion, it takes full advantage of computer vision and ARKit to sense a document in your camera feed, crop and straighten the edges, un-skew the perspective and remove any tilt or glare—all automatically with just a tap of the shutter button. All that’s left for you to do is fill in the blanks and sign the scan with your finger or Apple Pencil before you share the document or send it to your favorite app for further editing. In this tutorial, we’ll teach you how to scan single sheets of paper and multi-page documents using the Notes scanner, plus annotate and edit your scans and much more. As mentioned, the scanner comes with such features as automatic edge detection, filter presets, cropping, rotation and sharing, all built-in and just a tap away. You can view your scans, annotate them and perform other edits once you’ve saved them to the app. Scanning documents is currently unsupported in Notes for Mac but we’ll be making sure to update this tutorial if and when Apple chooses to bring it to macOS. Viewing scanned documents in Notes requires iOS 11 or later.

And one last thing before we get to it: in its current incarnation, Notes does not apply handwriting recognition to your scans like it does to your scribblings, meaning you cannot search text in scanned documents. How to scan anything in Notes for iOSScanning sheets of paper with Notes works as advertised—you just position the document in view, without making much effort to line things up, and hit the shutter button. The handy auto-shutter mode lets you keep going until you have scanned all the pages you need. Your scans are saved in Notes as Markup-friendly, exportable JPG attachments. Launch the Notes app on your iOS device. Create a new note or open an existing one. The Plus button reveals the Notes scanner feature.

Place a sheet of paper on a flat surface and point the camera at it. The app uses computer vision and ARKit, allowing you to point the camera at an angle rather than line it up perfectly, which is very helpful when scanning multi-page documents. Manual shutter mode, when you need complete control. As soon as the scanner detects the edges, it’ll apply a semi-translucent yellowish overlay on top of the document and keep adjusting it in real time and—dare I say? Automatic shutter mode is great for multi-page scans. You can adjust corners of the scan with drag points, but that won’t be necessary in most cases because Notes just does the right thing, automagically.

Additional in-camera controls let you enable the flash or apply image filters on the fly. To enable the mode, tap Manual at the top of the Notes camera. Automatic shutter mode—Use this mode when you’d like to scan several documents at once. To turn the auto-shutter feature on, tap Auto at the top of the Notes camera.

Switch between automatic and manual shutter modes by tapping Auto or Manual. Manual and automatic shutter modes are a tap away. Manual shutter is great when you’d like to adjust corners of the document right after pressing the shutter button. But—again—manual shutter makes sense for those rare times when the edge-detection feature didn’t get it quite right. You can always drag the corners if edge-detection messes it up. You don’t get that option in auto-shutter mode, but don’t worry—scans can be cropped after the fact so this shouldn’t be an issue.

Regardless of your chosen mode, Notes always applies perspective correction to un-skew the scans. Choose a wrong filter and the scan may look like garbage. Thankfully, you can apply filters to your scans after the fact. For best results, use built-in filters to let Notes know what type of document you’re scanning. Whenever possible, choose an appropriate preset in-camera to let Notes immediately know what type of document you’re about to scan.

To use presets, tap an icon at the top of the camera that looks like three overlapping circles. Your scans are saved as image attachments to the Notes app. You can easily annotate them, export them as PDF files, shared them with friends or family, send them to other apps using iOS’s multipurpose Share sheet and more. After each press of the shutter button in manual mode, Notes will ask you if you’d like to save the scan or discard it and start over. Saving a scan produces a single attachment. Scanning multiple sheets of paper attaches them to the selected note as a multi-page scan bundle.