Best document scanner apps for iPhone: Create, search, and send PDFs on the go!

Best document scanner apps for iPhone: Create, search, and send PDFs on the go!

The absolute best iPhone apps to accurately scan your pages, store your documents, and let you share them more conveniently than ever!

Looking for the best iPhone apps to help you scan and manage documents? These days you can create, edit, and share documents on the go without stopping at the office. You can even print them out with AirPrint. The App Store plays host to several document scanner apps that can help you file receipts, track bills, and get important documents to clients when you need to. But which document scanner apps are the absolute best?

Scanner Pro

Best document scanner apps for iPhone: Scanner Pro

Scanner Pro by Readdle has a great interface and is one of the easiest scanner apps to just pick up and use. Scanner Pro also supports scanning of both documents and images as well as the ability to store them in PDF format or jpeg formats. Scanning is fast and accurate and cleans text up extremely well. You can upload images and documents and scan them directly to Dropbox, Evernote, and Google Docs. You can also sort documents into custom folders to keep them organized. Readdle also has several other document and PDF management apps that play nicely with Scanner Pro and create a completely virtual office environment.

If you're looking for a scanner app that's well supported and has many other companion apps to go with it, you want Scanner Pro.


Best document scanner apps for iPhone: Scanbot

Scanbot is not only a document scanning app, but can also scan QR codes all in one. If you upgrade to the pro version of Scanbot for a one time purchase of $4.99, you also get OCR which converts all your scanned images into searchable PDFs. Scanbot also has one of the nicest designs that I've seen of any scanning apps, which makes it easy to use. You can even change between different colored themes to suit your taste. Other features include 200 dpi or higher scan quality, upload to many different cloud services, and much more.

For a document scanner app that provides a great user experience alongside high quality scans, check out Scanbot.


Best document scanner apps for iPhone: InstaPDF

InstaPDF has not only an iPhone app but a Mac app that magically collects all the PDFs you scan to it from the iPhone app. Not only is the scan quality great, InstaPDF is user friendly and has one of the nicest designs of all the scanner apps we've looked at. If you're on WiFi, upload is pretty much instantaneous. This is convenient for times when you need to sign documents and have them instantly available on your computer, or whenever you're in the office and just want all your documents on your Mac instantly for safe keeping.

If you need to wirelessly beam documents from iPhone to Mac on a regular basis, get InstaPDF.

PDFpen Scan+

Best document scanner apps for iPhone: PDFpen Scan+

PDFpen has been around for a long time and with Scan+ they bring OCR support right to your iPhone or iPad. You can easily search anything scanned in, copy the text, and more. You can share your scans instantly or upload them to many different cloud services including Dropbox and Evernote. Have a scan already in your photo library? PDFpen Scan+ lets you import from there too. You can use editing tools to enhance your scans before sharing them, rename them and more. Scan+ also offers TextExpander support.

If you want TextExpander support and lots of export options, you can't go wrong with PDFpen Scan+.

TinyScan Pro

Best document scanner apps for iPhone: TinyScan Pro

TinyScan Pro can quickly capture your receipts, documents, or anything else you need to scan as either an image or a PDF. You can quickly toggle between photograph, black and white, or greyscale. Create folders to keep yourself organized and then share your scans in just a few taps. TinyScan Pro currently supports sharing directly to Evernote, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Box. You can also use AirDrop in order to share your scans to other iPhones and iPads. Batch mode can also let you scan multiple pages into a single PDF.

For a great scanner app that's easy to use and consistently produces great quality scans, check out TinyScan Pro.

What are your favorite document scanning apps for iPhone?

These are the document scanning apps I've found to be the most worthy of your attention. But as always, I want to know what you're using and why you chose it over the many other options available in the App Store. Be sure to let me know in the comments!

Note: Originally published, August, 2013. Updated, August 2014.

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Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

Best document scanner apps for iPhone: Create, search, and send PDFs on the go!


Bought Scanner Pro at full price and use it almost everyday. Great that it syncs direct to Evernote.

If your destination is Evernote, why not just scan directly into Evernote using the Evernote app? Free, easy, and effective.

Agree 100% ! I've bought apps in the past that do a terrible job. Evernote is free, and for documents it works great! Straightens them out, cleans it and the quality is very good.

Scanner Pro. The auto-upload to Dropbox and iCloud sync between iPhone/iPad are pretty sweet!

I love Scanner Pro, I've been using it for about a year now. If your goal though is to do the same things specifically with Recipes, check out Recipe Gallery. It incorporated using the camera of the iPad to capture recipes and OCR to index them.

I use Scanner Pro whenever I travel for work to scan all my receipts. Saves time when I get back to file the expense report, and by scanning as I get them, losing a receipt is no big deal.

Scanner Pro can be more productive by adding the ScanJig iPhone/iPad accessory. This inexpensive tool holds the smart device in the correct position and at a fixed distance from document pages. The result is faster scans with less adjustments.

One more rather new scanning app - SharpScan (
Working very fast (less than 3 sec per page) in full auto mode. Non destructive editing let me reprocess doc an any time. Can save scan as true B&W images (~20x time smaller than jpg). Bach mode for large volume scanning ... etc
Last but not the least - it's FREE

For scanning photos with iPhone I use Pic Scanner ( Its combo-scanning feature is best for fast scanning. If I place three photos and take combo snapshot, these get automatically split and saved - saves a lot of effort. Also has editing, filters, adding photo titles etc. With free version you can do unlimited scanning and cropping, but share only once. For "unlimited sharing and saving" it costs $2.99 (one-time.) Very worth it.

Turboscan has the best interface and integrated well with Evernote. I tried genius scan and scanner pro and the quality of PDF and nah. Turboscan is the best selling for these reasons. Currently #21 paid app.

I switched from TurboScan to Scanner Pro back when it was the app of the week. Works better for what I need it for than TurboScan. With Scanner Pro and Hello Sign, I sold a house without ever having to be present at the closing, which was two time zones away from me.

NICE!!!! I use Scanner Pro & Sign Now! I'm a traveling independent contractor & I love being able to sign & scan documents from my phone...its so convenient.

CamScanner is one of the document scanning apps I use. I also like Scanner Pro & Scanbot. I like CamScanner's design so I'm trying it out.

Genius scan pro (got it free though). i rarely use it but i have it because it uploads to skydrive (onedrive) where i have like 50 gbs of free storage.

I use Scanner Pro on business trips to scan my receipts as I get them. It saves me time when I get back home and gives me peace of mind if I were to lose a receipt since it is already scanned.

I feel as if you guys at iMore are scanning my Google search history. I was just looking for a decent doc scanner app on Tuesday. I couldn't decide on a good one so opened up the iMore app and started searching, didn't find an article for it. Now this article shows up. I'm watching you guys, or are you watching me?! dun dun duuuuuuun ;)


I'm one of the creators of InstaPDF - if you have any questions on how to use our app, leave a reply or contact us on Twitter @InstaPDF. Our website is


Was a Genius Scan fan, then got Scanner Pro for free, and then got SharpScan Pro too. But Scanbot is my new favorite. I love the interface.

I have been very impressed with Scanbot. Use it all the time and it's the best way to quickly scan lots of pages in high quality.

I own TurboScan, ScannerPDF, ScanBot Pro, InstaPDF, PDFScanner and RecogNow (OCR) and the only one I like is TurboScan. The rest repeatedly produce images that are too low-quality.

Another plus 1 for Scanner Pro by Readdle. Long with the other productivity apps by Readdle, this is amongst the best productivity suites available in tbd App Store.

Sent from the iMore App

PDF PROvider. It converts other documents to PDF, can use cloud storage accounts & was free last week with full unlock costing $1.99! Well worth it!

Scanbot - really, really fast capturing (free today)
Scanner Pro - more functional, but very slow capture (iPhone 5S)

Scanbot updated for iOS 8 compatibility, Evernote Business integration and for Pro: Select and configure OCR languages(New). Also: bugfixes and improvements.

Do any of these let you import a document from your Mac into the app and then fax it? I'm trying to get Scanner Pro to do this, but I don't think that it can.