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Sponsored App Review: Document Scanner: Scan PDF OCR

February 3, 2015 - Written By Tom Dawson

Smart Document Scanner is an Android app, like others that aims to make it super-easy to scan and store documents using just your smartphone and its camera. With Smart Document Scanner, you can photograph legal documents, tracking information, receipts and more. You control which part of your photo becomes your document and with OCR technology you can also translate a document from an image into text that’s easy to read. You can also sync your documents and scans with Drive and Dropbox right from the app, as well as export PDFs and share them to wherever you’d like to. With Smart Document Scanner, you don’t need a bulky scanning machine in the office any more, and it allows anyone to keep track of their receipts, documents and more by using just their phones.

All you need to do is download Smart Document Scanner from the Play Store to get started, and then you’re ready to begin scanning.

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When you first open up the app, you’re shown the slide-out menu to the left which has access to your scans, including those you’ve starred for quick access and some quick settings, too. There are a number of different folders already set up for you to put scans in, making things nice and neat.

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Adding a new folder is really easy and all you need to do is to tap the plus icon in the top-left. Then you’re given the choice of adding a new folder or a new document.

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A lot of the things I need to scan are proofs of postage, so I went ahead and created a folder with that name. To test things out, I’m going to take a pretty rough photo of my latest receipt on my desk.

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The camera interface in Smart Document Scanner is nice and easy to use and with some tweaking, you can easily cut out the document you took a photo of. Now, if you’re more careful with your photo taking, you won’t need to spend much time on this at all, but it is nice this feature is here.

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The final result came out pretty well, especially to say I wasn’t taking my time and just seeing how good Smart Document Scanner would be the everyday user. With better lighting, this would be even better than the very usable result below.

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There are some pretty nifty features on hand in Smart Document Scanner though, like the ability to sync to Drive and Dropbox.

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I got my Dropbox account up and running in no time, and it’s nice and neat how the app uses your space. The OCR feature is great for those scanning documents with lots of text, and it even works in a number of languages besides just English.

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If your office is a particularly dark one, or you’re using this at home to track of your spending or whatever, then you might it difficult to get perfect lighting results. With this however, you don’t need to, as there’s a suite of enhancements you can apply to images in order to make those documents easy to read, and look like they were scanned by a dedicated scanner.

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Overall, Smart Document Scanner is exactly what you think it is, it does everything you could want it to and the cloud sync really works and it’s really quite handy. Especially if, like many, you have Dropbox installed on your work PC or home laptop; it definitely speeds things up. The interface is nice and easy to use, although I did find it trickier than I’d have liked to export a PDF to my Dropbox, but you can share the PDF throughout anything using Android’s share menu. Other than that though, there’s not much to complain about it here. This is a solid app that can be of great use around the office and it’s also nice and easy for personal users that just want something to keep track of their spending or documents without the need to worry about where they put them around the house, as they’ll all be available in the cloud or on their device.

Ratings

  • Speed (4/5) – Everything runs quickly here, and it doesn’t take long at all to create a scan of pretty much anything.
  • Features (4/5) – There’s everything you could want here in a scanning app, and on the capture side this has a lot of great features. Other than it being more difficult to generate a PDF than I’d like, there’s a lot on offer here.
  • Theme (4/5) – The interface here is pretty easy to use, and it’s got a professional look and feel to it.
  • Overall (4/5) – A solid, and easily recommended scanner app, Smart Document Scanner is definitely worth taking a look at, regardless of whether you’re in the office or at home

Pros

  • Really easy to get photos of a document or receipt and manually cut out the exact document.
  • Syncs to both Google Drive and Dropbox with ease, and turns your smartphone into a wireless scanner.
  • Lots of little effects can be applied to improve lighting, making documents easy to read and see regardless of your lighting conditions.
  • OCR feature can help you turn big pieces of text into digital text easy to work with on your PC at work or home.

Cons

  • Wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be to produce a PDF of a document.
  • Creation of single and multi-page documents could be clear, but you soon get used to this.

All-in-all, Smart Document Scanner is a great little app for those in the office or at home trying to juggle masses of paper. Personally, I cannot stand having paper lying around and while certain professions need to keep archives by law, it doesn’t mean they have to trawl through those physical copies all the time. A lawyer could use Smart Document Scanner to digitize their documents and then access them from wherever they are using Dropbox, for instance. A decent app that’s easy to use and takes really good photos to ensure good document reproduction, it’s surprising I haven’t come across this sooner.

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