How Do I Scan Documents to My Chromebook?

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Scanning physical documents like receipts, letters, forms, or other paperwork can be incredibly useful for digitizing and organizing your files.

While dedicated scanners were previously required, Chromebooks now have built-in scanning capabilities through the integrated Camera app as of ChromeOS 96. This allows digitizing papers into editable formats right from your Chromebook using just the webcam.

How to Scan Documents with Chromebook

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Scanning papers on a Chromebook only takes a few steps:

  1. Open the Camera app
    The Camera app is pre-installed on all Chromebooks. Launch it through the app Launcher.
  2. Select “Scan” mode
    In the Camera app, choose the “Scan” option instead of standard photo/video modes. This enables the document detection and scanning interface.
  3. Position the document in view
    Place the document, receipt, or pages you want to digitize in front of the webcam feed inside the frame. Chrome OS will automatically detect the edges once they are visible.
  4. Press the shutter button
    With the document properly framed, click the round shutter button at the bottom to capture the scan.
  5. Review and edit
    After taking the scan snapshot, you can review it, edit, or delete and re-take as necessary until you have a clean capture of the page.
  6. Scan additional pages
    To compile a multi-page document, repeat steps 3-5, scanning one page at a time in order. Previously scanned pages will display along the left side for reference.
  7. Save scanned file
    When all pages have been scanned, the file can be saved through the options at the bottom right. Scans are saved by default to the Camera folder.

Tips for Good Quality Scans

Follow these tips when using your Chromebook webcam to scan documents for best results:

  • Use a contrasting background – Place pages on a darker surface if they are mostly white or vice versa. This helps define the edges.
  • Align the edges in frame – Make sure to straighten any tilted or askew pages so the edges are aligned cleanly in view.
  • Scan in a well-lit area – Proper lighting ensures your scans are sharp and clearly visible. Overhead lighting works best.
  • Clean the camera – Gently wipe off any dust, smudges, or debris from your Chromebook webcam with a microfiber cloth before scanning important documents.
  • Adjust resolution if needed – For very fine text, increase the scan resolution in Camera settings up to 2560×1920 if your Chromebook supports it.

With a bit of practice, you’ll be scanning various documents to your Chromebook in no time thanks to the built-in digitizing features of Chrome OS. So give it a try and simplify organizing all of your paper records and files.