Adobe today is launching a new mobile app that makes it easier to convert paper documents and other things into digital, editable PDF files. While there’s no shortage of scan-to-PDF apps on the App Store, many are not free, have a dated design, or simply convert an image to PDF format, but don’t allow for edits. Adobe Scan, meanwhile, uses optical character recognition (OCR) to convert the printed text to digital text that can then be searched, selected, copied or annotated in Acrobat Reader DC or Acrobat DC.
In addition, Adobe says the free app doesn’t limit you on the number of pages you can scan nor does it downgrade the quality.
Of course, another advantage – or disadvantage, depending on your viewpoint – to using Adobe’s app over scanners from, say, Microsoft (Office Lens), Google (Google Drive), or a popular third-party app, like Scanner Pro, is that it’s designed to work with Adobe’s Document Cloud. For Adobe’s customers this is a plus, though others may prefer the flexibility of more agnostic solutions that let you pick and choose your preferred upload destinations.
The documents you scan in on mobile will be automatically uploaded to your Adobe Document Cloud account, where you can store them online, share with others. But if you’re an Acrobat DC subscriber ($12.99/mo Standard, $14.99/mo Pro), you’ll also be able to fully edit and organize documents, collect signatures, and more.
Adobe Scan doesn’t just work with standard paper files, it’s worth noting. The company says you can also scan things like shopping receipts, business cards, a slide shown during a meeting, and even whiteboards.
The new app is powered by Adobe Sensei, the company’s A.I. and machine learning-based platform. Sensai is used for things like boundary detection, auto-crop and capture, perspective correction, and auto-clean to remove shadows, for example.
It also works with the new mobile functionality in Adobe Sign, for automatically signing and sending documents from any device, says Adobe.