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If you need to digitize or scan a document or photo on your computer or mobile but don’t have a scanner, here we show you the best ways to scan without a scanner.

Although you’ll achieve the best results with a document scanner, photo scanner or an all-in-one-printer, you don’t need one in order to scan documents on a Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad or Android device.

There are various ways to scan without a scanner that instantly digitize a document or image.

All of the solutions featured here also enable you to send a fax without a fax machine or modem by uploading the scanned documents to fax software.

They also allow you to upload and sign documents on a computer or mobile including legally binding agreements or contracts.

So if you just need to scan and send a document or want a way to manage documents and go paperless in your office or home, here are the best ways to scan a document on a Mac, PC or mobile without a scanner.

1. OCR Software

scan without scanner

OCR software (often referred to simply as scanning software) allows you to scan and digitize documents on your Mac without the need for a scanner.

This is a great way to make a PDF file without a scanner as OCR apps are often used to turn PDFs and other documents into searchable or editable text.

There are various OCR tools on the market although the best OCR software is Adobe Acrobat Pro which is the best way to digitize documents and turn them into PDFs.

You can check out our guide the best OCR scanning software for more options.

2. Scanner Apps

scan document without scanner - adobe scan

Scanner apps allow your phone camera or mobile device to scan digital document and turn them into PDFs. Some of them even allow you to turn text into speech.

This is different to OCR software as they do not make them text searchable or editable but it does turn them into another format.

Examples of scanner apps include Adobe Scan which is part of Adobe Acrobat on mobile devices.

3. Phone Camera

The simplest way to “scan” a document is to take a photo of the document with your camera and send it.

This isn’t exactly scanning but it does provide a digital version of the document or photo that you can then send to anyone either via email, messaging application or share on social media.

Unlike using OCR software however, this does not make the document scan able or editable but it does provide a quick and easy way to digitize a paper document.

If you don’t have a mobile phone, you can also use your iSight camera on a Mac to take a photo of a document or image with Photo Booth.

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