Five apps for scanning documents on your iPhone

School is back in session, meaning students have folders full of syllabi, schedules, and other paperwork you're likely to reference as the semester goes on. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to carry all of it around with you all the time, without overloading your backpack?

Thanks to a handful of iOS apps, you can scan whatever paper documents you might need easy access to and store them on your iPhone, in the cloud, or on your computer with just a few taps.

I've found five apps that will help you quickly scan and organize documents. … Read more

Prizmo's OCR scanner coming to the iPhone

Creaceed's Prizmo software impressed us a few months ago with an update that added camera tethering support and perspective correction to captured images. But the cherry on top was its optical character recognition (OCR) processing, which would pull out text from whatever had been scanned.

That same technology is on its way to a pocket-size version of the software, which should be available for the iPhone in just a few weeks (pending Apple's approval).

The app's crowning feature is that it can fix bad perspective, just like its desktop sibling, as well as let users snap photos … Read more

Prizmo for Mac turns your camera into a scanner

Have you always wanted a scanner, but held back because of size and cost? Do you have a Mac and a digital camera? Then good news: Prizmo for Mac offers a good enough solution to let accomplish most of your scanning needs without the extra hardware.

The $40 software, made by Belgium-based Creaceed, has long been offered as an alternative to the pack-in software that often comes with flatbed scanners. Its latest version sports three handy features, one of which can turn your digital camera into a very powerful text-archiving tool.

The first new feature is camera tethering. This lets you attach a tether-ready SLR or point-and-shoot to your computer, then have the app automatically import the shot as you take it. There's not a whole lot of user dialogue here to let you know your camera is attached. In my test, I simply connected my Nikon D90 (which does not feature USB mass storage support) and began taking photos, and it did the rest.

Users can also grab photo files from their hard drives, or from a camera that's attached in USB mass storage mode, although I found the latter a little jittery when trying to browse for a single file on a crowded memory card. The app would only let me see the top 40 shots or so, and I couldn't scroll down--a problem I didn't have when browsing the same set of files from a USB-powered memory card reader.

To go along with the tethering feature is curviture correction; this lets you fix warping due to the natural bend of pages. The tool itself is simple to use, but lacks some much-needed automation. You can, for instance, only work on one page at a time, so if you've snapped both pages of an open book, you have to open each one individually. This isn't a huge dealbreaker unless you're trying to archive something large, but it does slow things down.… Read more