Scanning book page with Scanner Pro app on iPhone

If you are looking for the best way to quickly scan a book without damaging it, you came to the right place. Here, we’ll show you how to scan any book, journal, or manuscript without ruining them, how to digitalize and save scanned books with your iPhone, how to convert scanned books to OCR, and what apps to use to get the best quality result. 

How to scan a book using your iPhone: a step-by-step guide

Scanner Pro is an easy-to-use scanner app that is great for book scanning. It has a special Book Mode that allows you to automatically define and crop pages, capture two pages at once, and then automatically break them down into separate pages. 

Here is how to scan a book in Scanner Pro in five easy steps:

  1. Download the Scanner Pro app from the App Store.
  2. Place your book on a flat surface and, if possible, make sure it has a good light source. Pro tip: Scanner Pro would allow scanning in any book and device orientation, but maximum quality is achieved if the book and device are in portrait orientation (see photo) or book and device are in landscape orientation. The goal is for the book to occupy more area in the viewfinder, and for this book and device orientations should match.
  3. Open the app and tap on the large orange Plus icon in the lower right corner.
  4. Switch the camera to the ‘Book’ mode
  5. Point the camera at the book. Scanner Pro will capture the scan automatically.
  6. That’s it! Now, you can scan your book page by page without the need to overstretch the binding or scan each page individually. The application can stitch all scanned parts into one file. 

Screenshots of scanning a book with Scanner Pro app

Note: Start with scanning a dozen pages, saving them, and reviewing them to make sure they are captured correctly. You can always add more pages to the scanned ones. If you synchronize the app with the cloud (e.g., iCloud or Google Drive) during scanning, then the newer your device, the more pages you can scan at a time.

After you have scanned book pages in Scanner Pro, they will automatically be saved to the ‘My Scans’ screen. You can set up an automatic sync with cloud storage, so all your scans will be saved to the cloud. 

Scanner Pro automatically scans the book into PDF and saves it as a PDF file, but you can also export scans as Word or PowerPoint files. 

If you are not fully happy with how a book scan looks, you can use advanced editing options in Scanner Pro to adjust the crop, curve, brightness, etc. 

To edit a book scan in Scanner Pro:

  1. Open the scanned page.
  2. Tap on the ‘Edit’ icon at the bottom.
  3. Choose an option you need: Crop to crop or rotate pages; Eraser to remove fingers from the book scan; Color Mode to convert the book scan to Black and White.

Screenshot of iPhone showinf editing Book scan in Scanner Pro

Can you scan a book with your phone?

The short answer is yes. 

The quickest way is just to take photos of the pages of the book you need. Of course, these will be photocopies that you can hardly edit; the quality won’t be as good as with a scanner. However, it’s a good option for emergencies: all you need to do is place the book on a flat surface under good light and take a photo of one book page at a time. 

If you want a high-quality book scan that you can later edit, use a book-scanning app. 

What’s the best way to scan a book?

There are three ways you can do book scanning, depending on your budget and the scale of the project. 

Dedicated book scanners. The best way to scan a book without ruining it is to use a special book scanner. These scanners are made to scan books quickly and accurately without causing any harm. They also come with helpful features like fixing crooked pages and cropping. However, they cost a lot - a proper one will cost around $400. 

Usual desk scanners. Regular document scanners are not an ideal option for scanning books, as you will have to adjust the book and bend the pages in order to make a scan. Try to use a flatbed scanner and place the book face down on it. There is a high risk of damaging a book, and the quality of scans could be low due to black margins, skewed pages, etc. However, it could be used as a one-time option when you need to scan a couple of pages.

Book scanning apps. This is the easiest and most affordable scanning option: they are either free or cost under $10/month, and they provide high-quality book scans and editing options. Some of them could also convert scanned books into OCR, which means recognizing the text on scans, so you can copy and paste it, translate it, etc. All you need is your phone and a scanning app. 

How to scan a book without ruining it? Tips and tricks

Here are tips for digitalizing a book without damaging it:

  • Use a proper scanning solution: a dedicated book scanner or a reliable book scanning app, like Scanner Pro. Such scan apps will automatically define and crop the scanned pages and create good-quality scans even without special lighting.
  • Prepare the book before scanning it: remove the wrapper and inserts, and clean the dust and dirt.
  • Make sure you are not overstretching the binding while scanning. Gently open page after page and bend them just enough to grab a scan. 

How do I scan a book for free?

To scan a book for free, you can:

  1. Find an available flatbed scanner at home/office and use it. Be careful with the book - put it carefully on the scanner surface face down and try not to overstretch the binding. 
  2. Download a book scanner app on your smartphone and use it to scan the book. All you have to do is download the app from the App Store, point the camera at the document, press the button, and scan. This is the easiest and fastest way to make good-quality book scans. 

How to convert a scanned book into OCR (text)

Need to copy, translate, or edit text from your book scans? You can do this easily in Scanner Pro:

  1. Open the scan.
  2. Tap on the Text option at the bottom right corner. 
  3. The app will recognize the text and show you the scan. You can switch to the ‘Text’ mode at the top to see only the text from the document. 
  4. Copy the text, translate it, or share it as a text document. 

Book to OCR text tool in Scanner Pro

Hopefully, this guide will help you to find the best solution for scanning books - whether you need to save and preserve a precious rare print, scan a school library book, or simply make a digital copy of a user manual for your new vacuum cleaner. 

If you need a reliable and fast scanning app to scan any book - check out Scanner Pro today. 

See what our users like about Scanner Pro:

Book mode is absolutely stunning!
Pleasantly surprised with this update. Book mode takes a picture of two pages of an open book and splits it into two separate pages.
I am very impressed with the speed and accuracy of this new feature. It saves me a lot of time!

Incredibly Dependable 
Scanner Pro and Dropbox make saving key documents as pdf files easy and incredibly dependable. I use it on my iPhone 8 and get great results with all sorts of documents, books, and photos.

Scanner Pro 
Wonderful tool. I have used it for years, and it has saved me from times when I can’t find the original documents! It is extremely useful!

Scanner Pro

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