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Adobe Scan turns physical documents into editable PDF files

01 June 2017

The finished PDF is stored in Adobe Document Cloud, and Scan works with free as well as paid Document Cloud accounts, although subscribers do get additional capabilities including editing, organising and signing.

Called Adobe Scan, the app is able to snap photos of paper documents and turn them into PDFs on your phone, no scanner required.

Adobe Scan 17.05.31 is available now as a free download for iPhone and iPad (iOS 10 or later) and Android (Android 5.0 or later). Adobe says it can do multipage documents, too, and there are no limitations or watermarks to get in your way.

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Documents are the "lifeblood of society", communicating information from sources such as contracts, textbooks, and financial statements, said Abhay Parasnis, chief technology officer, Adobe. Adobe Scan finds edges of items before scanning, scans them, attempts to clean them, and then gives you some quick tools like crop, rotate, reorder, etc. This feature is only available to those with an Acrobat Pro DC subscription, which starts at $15 per month. You can try Scan yourself here.

Scan is powered by Sensei, Adobe's machine learning platform, and it can also perform OCR on images you've captured previously. Sign is also compliant with the Cloud Signature Consortium's open standard, meaning that it meets legal esignature standards while still allowing users to sign from any browser or mobile device. "As part of Adobe Document Cloud, new apps like Adobe Scan integrate with services in Adobe Sign and Acrobat DC, offering a modern document experience with unprecedented value to our customers".

"Adobe invented PDF creation for PCs, and with Adobe Scan we're doing the same for a mobile-first world".

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"Adobe Scan represents a radical re-imagination of how to capture your most important document content", Bryan Lamkin, executive vice president and general manager, Digital Media at Adobe, was quoted as saying in the company's release.

Cloud-based digital signatures as standardised by the Adobe-led Cloud Signature Consortium can now be used within Sign.

Cross-device signature capture - Easily capture a handwritten signature electronically, even when your computer isn't touch-enabled. This feature is a great plus for those who use Adobe's services.

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Adobe Scan turns physical documents into editable PDF files