How to Scan Documents on Android Using Google Drive

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Scanning documents isn’t fun, but we all have to do it sometimes. Thankfully, using your Android device, you can quickly scan documents without any special equipment.

How to Scan Documents on Android Using Google Drive

Next time you need to digitize a receipt for reimbursement, scan a government form so you can email it, or want to save business cards to your computer, here’s a simple guide covering how to scan documents on Android.

Scanning documents on Android using Google Drive

Android doesn’t offer a built-in way to scan documents, so the easiest option is using the Google Drive app. Since it’s installed on almost every Android device out of the box, it’s as good as a default method.

Scanning with Google Drive also offers several benefits. As it uploads your scan to your Drive account, you don’t have to remember to back up your documents manually. It’s also easy to share your scans with family or colleagues by sending them a Drive link.

How to Scan Documents Using the Google Drive App

If you don’t have the app already, install Google Drive from the Play Store, open the app, and sign into your Google account. On any of the app’s tabs, tap the Plus button at the bottom-right of the screen to show the Create new panel. Choose Scan once this appears.

If this is your first time using Google Drive, you’ll have to grant permission for the app to use your camera. Once you’ve done so, the camera will launch and allow you to snap a photo of the document you want to scan. Use the camera interface as normal to take this picture. Common options like zoom and a timer are available, if needed.

You’ll see a preview of your photo; tap the redo button to try again, or the Check button if you’re satisfied. After hitting the Check button, you’ll have the option to make several edits to your scan.

How to Edit Your Scan in Google Drive

Google Drive offers four icons at the bottom of your scan page. From left to right, these are:

  • Redo: Tap the arrow to scan the document again, which is useful if it came out blurry or similar.
  • Color: The palette icon lets you choose between four color enhancement options. Black & White and Color are the most common, depending on whether your document has color. But you can try the other two to see if they improve the scan quality.
  • Rotate: Use this to rotate the scan in 90-degree increments.
  • Crop: Google Drive’s scanner should automatically crop the scan to what it detects as the edges of your document. But in case it didn’t get this right, use the Crop tool to adjust the edges yourself.

If you want to add additional scans, tap the Plus icon in the bottom-left corner to scan another document. Finally, there are a few options accessible using the three-dot menu at the top-right. Use Rename scan to change the generic name that uses the date and time.

There are a few options under Settings worth looking at, too. Image enhancement lets you set the default color enhancement. Paper Size lets you change the size of document the final PDF uses, while Paper Orientation can be Landscape or Portrait if you don’t like the Automatic option.

Finally, change the Image Quality if you want higher-quality scans, or to drop the quality for smaller file sizes.

How to View and Save Scanned Documents in Google Drive

When you’re all done, tap the Save button back on the main scan page. Here, you’ll have a chance to change the document title if you haven’t already, as well as pick which Google Drive account the file goes to (if you have multiple). Pick a Folder, and it will upload to Drive when you tap Save.

You can view the PDF in your Google Drive anytime. If you want to access it even without a network connection, tap the three-dot button on the file and choose Make available offline. You can also choose Download to save a local copy anywhere on your phone’s storage.

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