There’s a pretty nifty document scanner built into your iPhone’s Notes app. It’s great at automatically figuring out the edges of your doc, and it will even detect text for you. But the problem is, the scanned text will save to the note itself as a PDF, meaning you have to then manually export the document to do something actually useful with it.
You can significantly improve this workflow by using the completely free QuickScan app. It has a leg up on other alternatives because it’s one of the few apps that does all its processing using Apple’s native tools, so you won’t be routing your data through some third-party server.
But what truly makes this app powerful is its workflow and built-in automation system. You can create an export profile with all your settings and pre-program a destination for your documents. Once you’re done with a scan, the app will automatically format and save the PDF to your destination of choice—even a cloud-based service like Dropbox.
Here’s an example of how it works. Open the QuickScan app, hit the New scan button, and start capturing the pages using the Shutter button (the app handles cropping automatically). When you’re done scanning, hit the Saw button.
Instantly, you’ll see a grid of all your scanned pages. You can drag the pages to reorder, and tap a page to see the full preview or edit. Here, you can tap the Live Text button to highlight and select text individually. If you tap the Eye icon in the bottom toolbar, the app will scan and OCR all the text inside the document. You can then preview and copy the text.
Hit the Share icon and you can choose to export the file as a PDF, JPG, or a simple text document, with or without password protection. Tap the “Choose Destination” button, then share it via the Files app, any messaging app, or simply copy the result to your clipboard.
Next, let’s automate the whole process. While you’re on the Export page, go to the Export Favorites sectionand create a new one Favorite. Choose the destination where you want to save the file (locally or in the cloud), then define the rest of your parameters, including file type. Give your automation a name and hit the Saw button. Now you can jump over two Settings > Automatic export > Enabled and choose the Export profile you just created.
Your automation is now set. The next time you scan the pages and hit the Save button, the app will automatically export the document with your settings to your destination. For me, it’s my Documents folder in iCloud Drive. (If you end up loving this free app as much as I do, make sure to tip the developer!)