There’s a hidden feature of the Notes app that is quite powerful and useful especially in this age of paperless transactions. These days we find ourselves scrambling to scan documents, then signing them using our electronic signature.
Apple’s document scanner is hidden inside the Notes app, and because it supports in-app sharing, you can store the newly scanned document anywhere you want.
We will also guide you through accessing the hidden features of the app. This works on both your iPhone and on your iPad.
The document scanner is tucked away in the Notes app on iPhone and iPad. With just a couple of taps, you’ll have a solidly scanned document ready to mark up, convert to PDF, and share with another app.
- Open Notes and select a note or create a new one.
- Tap the Camera button, then tap Scan Documents.
- Place your document in view of the camera.
- If your device is in Auto mode, your document will automatically scan. If you need to manually capture a scan, tap the Shutter button or one of the Volume buttons. Then drag the corners to adjust the scan to fit the page, then tap Keep Scan.
- Tap Save or add additional scans to the document.
How to scan a document with your iPhone, iPad
Place the document(s) on a flat surface, in a well-lit area. Open the Notes app and either create a new note or open an existing note. I created a folder called Scanned Documents where I can store and easily find anything I’ve scanned.
With a note open, tap on the camera icon then Scan Documents. Your iPhone or iPad will open the camera, complete with a shutter button near the bottom of the screen. Don’t push it yet; instead, follow the prompts on your screen. To get the best results, hold your device directly above the document.
A yellow box will appear as the camera begins scanning and looking for the document. You’ll see tips like “get closer” as your device looks for the edges and corners of the paper. Once it identifies the entire document, it will automatically capture a scan. If your iPhone is struggling to find the document, you can press the shutter button.
A small thumbnail of each page will show in the bottom-left corner, and the scanner will remain open to continue scanning multiple pages. When you’re done, tap Save.
How to use your signature on a scanned document on your iPhone
Now that you have a document scanned and adjusted, you have a few options. You can keep it in the Notes app for future reference, or you can sign and share it.
- Open Notes, then tap the document in the note.
- Tap the Share button, then tap Markup.
- Tap the Add button, then tap Signature and add a saved signature or create a new signature. Then you can adjust the size of the signature box and place it wherever you want on the document.
- Tap Done.
To bring up the share sheet when viewing a document, tap the share button in the top-right corner of the screen. To add your signature, scroll below the app shortcuts and tap Markup. The markup tool has tools to draw, write or add text or add your signature. Tap on the “+” sign to see all of the tools options.
When you’re done signing or annotating the document, you can then email it, save it to the Files app, or treat it as you would any other document on your iPhone or iPad.