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How to scan documents in Notes and third-party apps on the iPhone and iPad

Relatively few people buy stand-alone scanners these days unless they work with printed documents, photos, or photographic negatives, and most financial, medical, and legal documents show up in digital form—but not all. That’s particularly true if you have kids in school and are tasked with endlessly filling out variations of the same form, by hand and often submitting as paper.

Apple has built in a scanner into Notes for a few releases, which lets you capture pages or images as documents, and then edit them directly (via the embedded Markup tool) or export them as PDF to fill in forms or make other modifications.

Based on reader email and online questions in forums, relatively few people seem aware of the power hidden away there. Like most iOS/iPadOS apps, Apple’s gradual improvements don’t overcome people’s memories of what didn’t work or what was omitted in earlier releases.

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