There Are Multiple Ways to Convert Paper Documents to PDF. Printing services and offices use costly professional machines to do it in easy way. This guide mainly utilizing our commonly available home gadgets to get professional result. Modern smartphones are more convinient than the PCs for closer checking of the document by easy pinch & zoom. Also we commonly use smartphones to share the documents. So we will use Android smartphone for the last steps of the process. Required time, effort will be higher than PDF created from documents using the professional machines but it will be better than using just another application to convert image to PDF.
Usually the hand singed goverment documents as PDF are made in that way. It is the proper way for the documents of size larger than A4 size and up to tabaloid size documents. Xerox has WorkCentre series all-in-one laser printers starting from $350 for these purposes. There are high end machines from Xerox like this model :
# https://www.office.xerox.com/multifunction-printer/color-multifunction/workcentre-6655i/enus.html #
Those machines all the required software for OCR, digital restoration of documents, duplex color printing. They are better investment than common inkjet printers with a scanner. They can directly convert multiple images to single PDF with few taps and clicks. For low volume document, using some printing service works fine and avoid high capital investment. Our topic how to convert paper documents to PDF is limited to A4 size document (usual flatbed scanners for PC has the size of A4).
For this guide, we need the following hardware and software :
- A flatbed scanner or DSLR/DSLT camera to capture high quality image of the document without much distortion of perspective. We recommand using a flatbed scanner.
- A computer to utilize the flatbed scanner or DSLR/DSLT camera. This is optional if Android smartphone application can support the flatbed scanner to connect via USB OTG or Wi-Fi.
- An Android smartphone (something like Samsung J7 Max is enough for this purpose).
- Adobe Scan Android application (free).
Common flatbed scanners scan documents in image format like JPG, PNG, GIF. They lack the direct PDF conversion option.
If your paper document has six pages, then use the flatbed scanner to scan each pages at 300 dpi or more. Save the images naming meaningful serial, like : page1, page2, page3…page6.
Transfer those images to your Android smartphone. Install the Adobe Scan application from Google Play. If you are using Adobe Scan for the first time then it will ask for signing up. Use Google account. There will be prompt on first run to use smartphone’s camera. Allow the app to use camera and close that camera window by tap on X on the top corner of the screen. Tap on menu icon of Adobe Scan application > Scans (with camera icon beside) > tap on + icon at bottom corner of Adobe Scan application > tap “Scan from Photos” option > select your images in proper serial.
You can adjust the borders, select B&W or color option. Adobe Scan application will understand textual documents and auto optimize it. Adobe Scan application by default will upload to their cloud storage. Tap the share icon > tap “Share a copy” > select some of your other PDF viewer app like Drive PDF Viewer. As that app will open the PDF, save it from that PDF to convinient location like SD card > Downloads.
Adobe Acrobat desktop application does the same work like Adobe Scan Android application but Adobe Acrobat desktop application is not free.