Home iOS Tips and Tricks Scan Documents with the iOS Notes App

Scan Documents with the iOS Notes App

by Peggy Reimers
notes app

My Twitter PLN is such a gold mine! Here’s just one example. A longtime colleague and my friend, Debbie Boyer, posted the following tweet:

“Need a scanner while in school or @ home? The iCloud Notes app on an iPhone will let you scan multiple pages into one PDF file.”

I knew there were several apps to do this: OfficeLens, Genius, Kami or PDF Candy. But wow — I did not know the iOS Notes app had this capability.  No need to buy an all-in-one home printer. Cha-ching! Money saved, and my iPhone pushes another machine off my home desk. 

Step-by-Step Instructions to Scan

  1. Find your Notes app.
  2. Start a new note.
  3. Find the camera icon and tap.
  4. Choose Scan Documents.
  5. Take picture(s) of paper documents.
    • If you have text, you will have an option to drag near corners to adjust.
  6. Either keep scanning documents or Save.
  7. Tap the send icon.
  8. Select your option for delivery (email or text the PDF).

Step-by-Step Visuals

All screenshots by author.

If your students have an iPhone, this would be a great tip to share with them (and maybe they can share it with their parents!). They can turn in their papers to you via the Notes app, saving the environment and helping to keep those nasty germs away. Get busy scanning!

One Extra Notes App Feature

You can also sign documents inside the Notes app.

  1. Tap the document in the note.
  2. Tap the Share icon, then tap Markup.
  3. To add your signature, tap +, then tap Signature . To manually sign your document, select a tool to use, then sign with your finger or an Apple Pencil with a compatible iPad.
  4. Tap Done.
unsplash-logoPhoto: Bagus Hernawan

You may also like


Katie Treat April 14, 2020 - 1:34 pm

I didn’t have the camera option in my Notes App. I checked out Google and after a little digging, I discovered that if you don’t have the camera option when you start a note, follow these steps:
– Open phone Settings
– Scroll down and select the > next to Notes
– Enable the “On My iPhone” Account option
Now when I open my Notes App I have to choose between creating a note in “Gmail” or “On My iPhone”. If I try to create a note in “Gmail”, it doesn’t give me the camera option but if I create the note under “On My iPhone” I do get the option.

Mary July 28, 2020 - 7:30 am

I can’t send to .org, is there a reason for this?

Catherine Kearney February 6, 2022 - 4:00 am

Can’t find how to select option to send text pdf only email.


Leave a Comment

You've Made It This Far

Like what you're reading? Sign up to stay connected with us.



*By downloading, you are subscribing to our email list which includes our daily blog straight to your inbox and marketing emails. It can take up to 7 days for you to be added. You can change your preferences at any time. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!