How to Scan Using Google Drive

It is not always possible to have a document scanner on you every time. But if you own a smartphone, you have probably figured out how to take pictures using it. While it’s a brilliant idea, the Google Drive app offers a more camera scanning function to elevate your experience, making it more straightforward. 

In this article, you will learn how to scan using Google Drive

Understanding Google Drive

The Google Drive document scanner app has many advantages over snapping a picture of the document using your camera app. The Google Drive document scanner software uses a built-in intelligent image processor that instantly formats your photo to a flatbed scan. 

Additionally, every scan you make using the Google Drive app gets automatically stored in your Google Drive account, and you can access it from anywhere using your smart devices or PC. Through the scanning function, you can also create multiple PDF file pages on the trot.

The next time you are in the library, your lawyer’s office, or the government offices, you can scan multiple files using Google Drive. 

Read How to Upload Voice Memos to Google Drive

How to scan using Google Drive on Android

  • Start by installing the Google Drive App on your Android phone
  • After installation, click on the Plus icon. 
  • From the options, Tap “scan.”
  • Edit the scan to your customization.

1. Installing the Google Drive app on your Android

Most Android phones come with the Google app already installed. If not, you can start the installation process from the google play store on your Android device. First, download, install and then log in to your Google Account. 

2. Google Drive Plus icon

To open the Google Drive App, you will see a colorful plus icon at the bottom right side of your phone’s screen. Click on it to open. 

scan using google drive

Scroll down to the options and look for ‘scan’, and tap. (it’s the one with the camera icon).  

3. Editing your Scan

Google Drive is now in scanning mode. There are only three steps to follow. These are:

how to scan using google drive iphone
  • Take a picture of the document you wish to scan as you would capture a normal photo. 
  • Google Drive will allow you to review the image. Once satisfied, you can tap OK to proceed. If not, you can tap “Retry” and retake the photo. 
  • After pressing OK, and you now have your image, you can tweak the photo as you want it. For example, here, you can crop so that you only capture the document borderline
  • The crop icon is at the top left side of your screen.

4. Multiple Scan Documents

By now, you can see that Google’s software automatically selects the document borders by itself. So it usually gets it right, and you will see nodes that you can use to frame your page on the outline if it doesn’t. 

how to scan on google drive

To finalize, tap on the checkmark option, and your document will be saved. But if you wish to scan multiple pages, tap the plus icon again and repeat the process. Scan numerous papers, and click on the checkmark button to save the file in your Google Drive. 

How to Scan using Google Drive on iOS

If you don’t have the Google Drive app on your iOS device, you can install it from the Apple store. After installation, log in to your Google Account and open the Google Drive app.  

Steps to follow

  • Open the Google Drive App. Tap on the plus icon to create a new document.
  • Scroll down the options and look for ‘Scan’. Tap it to proceed.
  • The page opens up a scanning interface where you see what the camera sees in live view. 
  • Position the document you wish to scan and align it with the viewfinder. 
  • If your phone has multiple camera units, you can select the camera you want. But in preference, the primary camera is the best. 
  • Tap on the large shutter. On iOS, it is ‘Use camera.’
  • It takes you to a preview image. If satisfied, press OK. But if you aren’t, tap retry and retake the photo. 

Editing the scanned page on iOS

  • Once you take the photo the way you like it, you can make a few tweaks. First, at the top of your screen, you will see the color palette. Tap to change the image color. 
  • While on the same page, you can access the crop function. Google Drive selects the borderline automatically, and you can use the nodes to drag the page to your liking. 
  • If you are scanning one page only, tap the ‘Save’ button, and your image will be saved on Google Drive. If you need to add some more pages, tap on the plus sign again and repeat the steps until you finish scanning all the pages. 
  • Google Drive will prompt you to save the document as a PDF. 
  • Name the document and pick the location to save the file. 

How to Turn Your Scanned Google Drive Document into a PDF

Google Drive is more than a tool for saving different files and documents. Besides the hidden scanner that allows you to scan documents, you can also save them in PDF format. It makes them occupy less space in your cloud storage. 

How does Google scan work

The process is simple. Scan the document in Google Drive using the steps above and click save. The file becomes automatically converted in PDF format. 

However, before saving the file, you have many options, including changing the document color. These include:

  • None
  • Color Drawing
  • Black and White
  • Color

The shortlist of the things you need to scan a document using Google Drive successfully are few. These are:

  • Use a smart device like a tablet or smartphone with a camera and operate on iOS or Android.
  • You need a Google Account
  • Decent lighting and a flatbed surface
  • The book or page you want to scan
  • A reliable internet connection. 

The whole point of saving your scanned documents is to keep them in easy-to-access storage. 

Where Is My Google Drive Document?

When scanning a document on Google Drive using your phone, the first scan is stored in your phone’s storage. But if you are on an internet connection, the scan is stored automatically to a specific file designation that you choose. 

Depending on your phone’s settings, you can upload scanned documents to Google Drive cloud storage using your mobile data or Wi-Fi connection. However, default settings upload documents to Google Drive using a Wi-Fi connection only. 

It means that you won’t share your scans with other people until you connect to a Wi-Fi connection. But if it’s urgent that you get the scans to the cloud storage as fast as possible, enabling mobile data by changing the settings in Google drive will allow uploads. 

As a precaution, you should know that uploading files to Google Drive using mobile data eats enormous chunks of your data. Therefore, after the upload is successful, you should consider reverting to uploads via Wi-Fi connection only. 

For mobile uploads, follow these steps

  • Select the three lines icon on your phone
  • Tap on settings
  • Find data settings
  • Locate transfer files via Wi-Fi only and turn them off. 

After the uploads are complete, remember to turn the settings back to Wi-Fi only if you don’t wish to incur massive mobile data monthly bills. 

Best Tips for Getting the Best Results When Using Google Drive App

The technology behind the Google drive hidden scanner is impressive. But you can tweak a few things to have even better results. 

  • Low light conditions are not suitable for any camera work. No matter how powerful your phone’s camera is, you will need good lighting to get the best scan results. 
  • The Google Drive app has a flash option when taking images in poorly lit conditions. However, it can be harsh and cause a glare on the paper you are scanning. For best results, consider using a soft diffuse light overhead your document. But be careful not to place the phone under the light as it will cast shadows on the paper you wish to scan. 
  •  Ensure the document is straight and not crumbled up so that the Google Drive app can get a decent scan. 
  • Keep your document in focus. It is simple for most smartphones because of the autofocus option. Here you make a tap, and you get the job done. Again, it’s essential that you use better lighting to improve the autofocus performance.
  • Though not necessarily convenient, using a tripod mount is of great benefit to assist you to hold the phone steady over the scanning area. In addition, it yields better results, especially if you have to scan many pages of a document. 

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Google Drive keeps adding more features that make it more convenient to perform multiple functions.

For example, it is impressive that the recent innovation allows you to fill PDF forms. You must constantly check what’s new on Google Drive and uncover other features that make it convenient for you to use anywhere. You never know what feature will impress and help you.