CamScanner: OCR to PDF, and Beyond

man scanning a receipt with a smartphone

Over the past few years, OCR (Optical Character Recognition) apps have been gaining increased popularity among both mainstream users and individuals with disabilities. Because this technology allows users to easily digitize and edit print-based documents, books, photos and more using their smartphones built-in camera, the barrier to alternative, digitized means of expression for individuals who struggle with print-based disabilities is becoming smaller and smaller. In the past, individuals with print-based disabilities would have to seek out alternative formats for learning content, a process that was often both costly and difficult. With OCR apps, individuals with disabilities can quite literally take matters into their own hands.

The process of digitizing a document using OCR is quite simple; users take a photo of a document via OCR app, and the app will recognize and digitize the photo and the text contained within it. The digitized document can then be marked up, edited, and shared. Some well-known examples of OCR apps include Office Lens, PrizmoGo, and ClaroPDF, all of which have been used and recommended by us at one point or another.

The app that we’re talking about today performs all of the functions listed above – and more, and with the app currently being the highest-rated scanner to PDF app on the app store right now, we thought that it deserved some attention.

CamScanner not only supports all of the functions that OCR users have come to expect, it goes a couple steps further, offering additional features that transform the app into a kind of all-encompassing business productivity hub. Not only does CamScanner capture text, it also allows users to encrypt, fax, sign, annotate, and collate documents. Plus, the CamScanner dashboard offers a built-in search, tags, and advanced viewing and sorting options.

And when it comes to features related to capturing, editing, and sharing photos, CamScanner has a lot on offer:

Capture Options

PPT – Capture a photo and/or text to be used in PowerPoint.

ImagetoExcel – Allows users to take a photo of a spreadsheet document which will then be converted into an Excel file.

ID Photo – Designed for capturing a photo to be used in an ID.

OCR – Takes a photo of a document and exports/digitizes the text.

Docs – Same functionality of OCR, but with added modes designed for capturing documents.

ID Card – Create an e-copy of your ID.

Book – Designed for capturing books, this option splits the image in two, allowing users to capture both pages of a book simultaneously.

Question Book – This function allows individuals to capture and collate questions from multiple quizzes, books, and other worksheets, allowing users to create their own customized “question book”.

More – Offers options to capture both greeting cards as well as QR scans.

Editing Options

Once the photo has been captured, users can rotate, mark, crop, and annotate their documents. At this point, users can also choose to recognize (apply OCR to) their photo, which will then allow the user to re-capture, proofread, translate and share their work.

Sharing Options:

There are many share options and formats available to CamScanner users including PDF, image, Word, doc Link, encrypted link, email, Google / OneDrive support, Dropbox, OneNote, direct link, and send to PC.

CamScanner is available for both iPhone and Android, and although basic functionality is offered through the free version, users will need to choose a subscription package to take full advantage of the app. To learn more about pricing, click here(new window).

Tags: assistive technology, AT HelpDesk, Atlantic Regional Office

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