You can use your phone’s camera to take a picture of paper documents to digitalize them. Other than saving them as image files, you can use a scanner app to scan documents into PDF files. Android users don’t even need a third-party app to accomplish that. On an Android powered device, you should find a group of apps from Google. Drive is one of them. You can use Google Drive to quickly scan documents to PDF for free on Android mobile phones.
Unlock your phone screen. Find and fire up the Drive app. Sign in with your Google account if not yet. Switch from Home tab to the Files tab at the bottom of Google Drive. Open a folder you like to save the scan to. On my Android device, I created a folder name PDF specifically for documents scannings in the Google Drive.
Tap on the + Plus icon at the bottom right corner to bring up the menu at the lower section. Here you can find Folder, Upload, Scan, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Sides. Choose Scan from the pop-up menu, the camera will open. Just place any paper, document, paper notes, receipts, tickets and books on a flat surface and you’re ready to scan away.
Tap on the shutter button to snap it. You can then preview the scan. You can either delete the scan to re-scan the document or hit the check icon to confirm you like the scan and proceed to the next step. After that you will get more options to edit the scan or add new scans to the same PDF file.
Tap the Crop button at the top right corner to enlarge the selection or cut off the excess. Choose Color palate, then choose to scan in color or black & white. Tap on the More menu (three dots) to show more options including Delete, Rename, Rotate, and Settings.
When you are ready to save the document, just tap the check button. The Save to Drive screen opens, here you can enter a document title, choose another folder and finally save the PDF document. Google Drive will automatically upload it.
PDF scanning alternatives
Except Google Drive, you can find many other PDF scanners out there.
- Simple Scan free PDF scanner app for Android: turns your phone into a portable scanner. You can scan documents, photos, receipts, reports, or just about anything and save them in image or PDF format. You can even convert screenshots to searchable PDF files.
- Clear Scan for Android: a free document scanner app, PDF scanning app for Android which boasts ease of use, fast processing speeds as well as cloud support.
- Adobe Scan: a free mobile scanner app for Android that can transform anything into digital – scanning documents, photos, notes, tax receipts, business cards to PDF with OCR support.