A few weeks ago, I reviewed the Doxie Go, a new portable scanner that lets you scan documents without being attached to a computer.
In my review, I mainly focused on the scanner itself, how to get documents on to your computer, and only briefly touched on the ability to do the entire scan workflow using a mobile device.
Inspired by a Twitter exchange with the awesome Justin Lancy, I’d like to rectify that with a two part series. Today I’ll be going into detail about how to use the Doxie Go with the iPad’s Camera Connection Kit. In a few days, I’ll have Part 2 using Doxie’s iPhone/iPad Sync Kit.
I want to be able to scan some documents, organize them, and act on them, all without using a Mac or Windows PC. The entire process will take place using the Doxie Go and my iPad.
What You’ll Need
- A Doxie Go, obviously
- Apple’s iPad Camera Connection Kit
- An SD Card
- An iOS app that lets you create PDFs. I will be using Save2PDF
To start with, put your SD card into the slot at the back of the Doxie.
Then, turn the power on and scan your documents normally. When you put the page into the scanner, the Doxie Go will automatically grab it and start scanning.
When you are done, power down and take the SD card out.
Importing To iPad
Now it is time to import the scans to your iPad. The Doxie Go stores scanned documents as JPG, one file per page. It stores it as if it was a digital camera, so Apple’s Camera Connection Kit can read them.
Plug the SD reader into the bottom of the iPad, and then plug the SD card into the reader.
When you do, the Photos app will start up and you can import the pages that you want.
The pages will then appear in your iPad’s photos.
Converting To PDF
You could stop there if you wanted, and just use the document as a JPG, email it to someone, or sync it back to your computer later when you are able to. However, that is not what we want to do today. We want to take our scanned documents all the way to PDF.
Fire up Save2PDF and tap on Images at the bottom. Hit the plus button, and you can go to the Last Import library and choose the first page that you want to import.
If you are doing a multi-page PDF, tap the plus button again and add the rest of your pages one by one.
If you want to preview your pages, hit the little eye button down at the bottom.
When you are ready to create your PDF, hit the PDF button up at the top-right corner.
Now you’ll get a dialog box with some settings. Here you can rearrange the pages if you want, and I recommend that you change the page settings.
- Tap on Paper Size and set it to the correct paper size (I have US Letter)
- Tap on each page and set image size from 4×6 to Fill page
When you are ready, give the file a name and you can either email it, or hit Save.
From there, you can either save the PDF to the Save2PDF application, or upload it to a cloud service like Dropbox or iCloud.
I have instructions for setting up Dropbox in my earlier Save2PDF post, so head over there if you want to know how to set it up.
If you do save the PDF to the Save2PDF app, you can export it by hitting the weird looking export button.
Doing Something With the PDF
Scanning without a computer is only half the battle. You need to be able to do something with the PDF.
Once you have the PDF where you want it, you can email it, open it in GoodReader or another PDF management application and annotate it, send it to cloud services, and do almost anything with it, without the need for a Mac or Windows machine.
The one thing this workflow won’t do is OCR. I haven’t found a great solution for that yet, so if you have one, please let us know in the comments. If you are an Evernote Premium user, you can open the PDF in Evernote and they will do the OCR for you on the server.
So, that is a workflow using the Doxie Go, the iPad’s Camera Connection Kit and Save2PDF. If you have other software that works better for this, let me know.
Stay tuned for the next post in a few days where I use Doxie’s iPhone/iPad Connection Kit to do all this wirelessly.