Adobe Scan is a mobile app that can digitise business cards, letters, receipts and more.
Apps for using your phone or tablet as a scanner are commonplace. What makes the new Adobe Scan app unusual is that it does optical character recognition (OCR) at no charge, allowing you to digitise business cards, letters, receipts and more.
Adobe Scan lets you take a photo – or select an existing photo – which it processes and saves as a PDF file. But a lot of digital smarts are employed behind the scenes.
The app uses Adobe's Sensei technology to automatically crop, square up, and enhance the relevant portion of the image, including sharpening any text. That image could be a photo of a receipt, business card or letter, but it also works with shots taken of whiteboards, video screens or even three-dimensional items such as a designer's mood board.
In case the automatic processing isn't quite what you expected, Scan allows additional manual adjustments.
Once the image is finalised, an automatic OCR process converts any text into a machine-readable form which is included in the resulting PDF, making it possible to copy and paste text from the document into another application.
The finished PDF is uploaded to Adobe Document Cloud, where it can be accessed with free or paid accounts – so yes, Scan can be completely free to use. The files can also be stored locally if desired.
The free Adobe Scan app is available for iOS or Android.