Genealogy in Your Pocket – The Mobile Scanner

Genealogy in Your Pocket – the mobile scanner … http://wp.me/pUz7q-4Iu

What do you do with a 300-page family history that was “written” on a typewriter and “published” in a copy center? You pull out your trusty iPhone with Evernote’s Scannable app [iOS – free] and get to work scanning it into Evernote. A typewritten document scanned with Scannable into Evernote. The result is a scanned document that is now searchable within Evernote. In this example, I’ve used…

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Mobile Research – Scanner Edition

Mobile Research – Scanner Edition

Your mobile phone is quickly becoming an amazing scanner thanks to some very impressive scanning apps. Not only does it make scanning a breeze, it can save you money too. What makes phone scanning apps so useful? Your phone is with you just about anywhere you go. Scanning with your phone is both quick and easy. It saves you money in copy costs. Most scanning apps not only capture the image, but…

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Mobile Research – Scanner Edition

Your mobile phone is quickly becoming an amazing scanner thanks to some very impressive scanning apps. Not only does it make scanning a breeze, it can save you money too. What makes phone scanning apps so useful?

  • Your phone is with you just about anywhere you go.
  • Scanning with your phone is both quick and easy.
  • It saves you money in copy costs.
  • Most scanning apps not only capture the image, but they “OCR” the text so the scanned text is both searchable and editable.
  • Most apps offer numerous saving and sharing options.
  • Some apps even have editing, annotation and signature options.

The free Evernote app – available for iOS, Android and Windows phones – allows you to photograph just about anything and attach it to a note. You will need a Plus or Premium account in order to search digitized content such as attached scans and image files.

Evernote offer a free scanning app for iOS phones called Scannable. It can save the scanned image as either a PDF or JPG file. Text files saved as PDFs are also searchable. While it is designed for use with Evernote, it’s also possible to save and share the scanned file to other apps/platforms.

Microsoft has a similar app called Office Lens which is available for Windows, Android and iOS phones. It will capture whiteboard contents as well as scan documents. From here, the scanned file can be sent to a number of Office apps – including OneNote. It is also free.

The CamScan app is also available for iOS, Android and Windows phones. It offers a free version so you can test it before upgrading to the full-featured version ($4.99/mo or $49.99/year). The full-featured version provides OCR capabilities and access to most of the cloud storage services along with editing and annotation options.

iOS users can also take advantage of the Scanner Pro app. Not only can it scan items, it has a Radar feature that will search your Photos library looking for photos of documents, receipts and whiteboards. It will then pull them into the Scanner Pro app so you can name, edit and route them to the appropriate storage/notes platform.

How easy is it to scan with your phone? Start by putting the item to be scanned onto a flat surface that is a contrasting color to the item. Here you see a book cover on a dark countertop.

 

ScannerPro1As you hold the phone over the item you’ll watch as the app finds the edges. Some apps show you an outline while others highlight the item. Once the edges are found, some apps (Scannable, for example) will automatically take the picture. This example is Scanner Pro and the user taps the white button at the bottom of the screen to capture the image. If you are scanning a multi-page document, once the first is done move to the next page and scan it. Keep going until all pages are scanned. The box with the number shows how many pages you have scanned.

 

ScannerPro2

The photos in this scan were washed out so I tapped the sun icon (top left) and used the sliders to improve the image. Notice the app recognized the item as black and white. Once it looks okay, I tap Done.

ScannerPro4

 

Now I have the option to edit, share or delete this image. I choose Share.

 

ScannerPro5

Scanner Pro automatically names each scan with a date/time stamp. Here I’ve changed the title in the Share screen. It shows my sharing options. The Open In item displays the standard iOS share sheet. For now, I’m going to tap the Upload menu item.

 

From here I have the option to send it to one of the cloud storage platforms or to my Evernote account. I tap the option I want and select the folder/notebook to save the image. That’s it. I’m done.

ScannerPr3

This example shows a simple one-page scan and doesn’t look into the many features this app provides. And, while the Scannable app was designed to work with Evernote, Scanner Pro works with a suite of iOS apps that make research on the go a whole lot easier. Once you are comfortable with the basics, take a look at the features for editing, sharing and saving your scans. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Why not test drive a scanner app on your phone and discover one of the joys of mobile research?

 

Genealogy in Your Pocket – The Mobile Scanner

What do you do with a 300-page family history that was “written” on a typewriter and “published” in a copy center? You pull out your trusty iPhone with Evernote’s Scannable app [iOS – free] and get to work scanning it into Evernote.

scanned document
A typewritten document scanned with Scannable into Evernote.

The result is a scanned document that is now searchable within Evernote. In this example, I’ve used Scannable to scan my Link family history. As you can see here, many of the image pages leave a bit to be desired but Evernote is still able to search it for specific words and phrases.

Searching within PDF documents requires an Evernote Premium account ($50/year). That may seem like a lot, but my Link family history is just one of many examples that have made it worth every penny to me. This 300-page family history cost me $60. There was no index and the table of contents left much to be desired. It’s full of wonderful information but finding details was a time-consuming challenge.

I scanned the document on my dining room buffet. It has a lamp providing good light and a dark surface that gives Scannable the contrasting background needed to define the page to be captured.

[youtube https://youtu.be/knmDArtrsoY]

I broke the document into sections and scanned each section as a separate PDF. This makes it a lot easier to manage within Evernote. Scannable captured pages as quickly as I could place them in the work area. The quality of pages within the original document were often quite poor and I was concerned that Evernote might not be able to convert the typewriter font to searchable text. I was delighted to see how well Evernote handled it all.

It took most of a rainy afternoon to scan the entire document. The effort has paid for itself numerous times when I needed to find specific information. Evernote’s document search capabilities “delivers” it in seconds.

Now this family treasure is also an impressive research resource.

The Amazing Scannable App

The Amazing Scannable App for iPhone

Scannable Scan

Scannable automatically finds the edges of the document and captures the image. Here you see it looking for the edges.

Scannable, the free iOS scanner app from Evernote, is quickly becoming my scanner of choice. When capturing pages in a book, Scannable will automatically flatten the page and straighten out the text. It will save single item scans into either PDF or image files. Multi-page scans…

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