Before we get started, this how-to / review assumes you have downloaded [bought] both of these apps.
This thing really is a genius. There's a free version but it doesn't support exporting to the cloud [boo], but the one that can export to the cloud is well worth it's price. Once you've uploaded the app here are the steps to scan a document, photo, or book:
- You have the option of either taking the photo of the document within the app itself or of choosing a photo from your iPhone library that you already took with the camera on your iPhone.
- Once you take the photo [or choose one from the library], you're shown a preview screen. Retake if you need to or if it's good, select Use.
- In the next screen you can tidy up the edges of the document just by using your finger to adjust the orange guide perimeter thingies [technical verbiage] then press Select.
- Then it automatically enhances the image for you, making the white areas whiter and the black areas blacker. It also seems to square it up as well.
- Then select the export button [rectangle with arrow] in the bottom right hand corner of the iPhone screen.
- On this screen, you can select whether you'd like to export it as a JPG image or as a PDF document. I went with the PDF route simply because I already know I'm sending it to a PDF reader. But? The PDF reader that I'm sending it to can take any type of file including JPGs. [It's beast.]
- Then since we want to export it to the PDF reader, GoodReader, select Other Apps [toolbox icon].
- In next screen, select Actual.
- Then you'll see a scrolling list of other apps that you have on your iPhone that you could export this PDF document to. We're exporting to GoodReader, so select GoodReader.
- The next screen shows your PDF document in the GoodReader app ready for annotating. Like magic.
The document that I've used for this demo is a copy of my 2nd great grandfather's death certificate. I downloaded it from FamilySearch.org, but we're going to pretend that I scanned it. There are several things I know that are not correct on there, or at the very least things I need to look into. So. I want to mark them, write down a quick note, and place the citation info on the bottom of it so that I can go back later and create the full citation. [You know, to be a good little genealogist. =) ] Following are the steps to do this:
- When I tap the document with my finger, a screen comes up asking me if I want to annotate the document ["Save to this file"] or make a copy of the document first and then annotate the copy. I choose "create an annotated copy" because I want to keep a clean copy of the document. [And I'm a Photoshop kinda gal, and you never mess with the original.]
- [Note: At any time while you're annotating the document, there are 2 menus that you can access: the Main Menu and the Annotation Menu. By tapping the center of the screen quickly, you will pull up the the Main Menu. After a little while the Main Menu hides until you tap the screen again. By touching the screen and holding it down for just a few seconds brings up the Annotation Menu. Also, I found it easier to do everything with the iPhone in landscape mode.]
- You then can crop the document. But? We already did that in the GeniusScan+ app. So we're good to go.
- The first thing I want to notate is the discrepancy in the spelling of his last name. Visually, I want to circle his last name. By placing my finger on the screen and holding it down makes the Annotation Menu come up. I choose the oval shape on the right of the menu. I size it up to fit his last name Vaughn and center it over his name. When I'm happy with the placement, I tap Done with my finger.
- Now, I'd like to attach a note to it, but without writing over the document. I hold down my finger outside the oval [outside, not inside] and the Annotation Menu comes up. I select the Dialoge Icon and a yellow screen and my keyboard appear so I can type a note on it about his surname. When I'm done, I tap Save.
- What is now on top of the document is a yellow dialogue icon and if I tapped it, it would take me back to the note. However, the icon is not in the correct place. I want it inside the oval. So press and hold down your finger on the yellow dialogue icon. What appears are options for the icon. I tap Move. Then I drag the dialogue icon to inside the oval and then tap Done Moving. [Not really rocket science & it's much easier than me typing these instructions. I promise.]
- I repeat the process for each note I'd like to make. [And they made quite a few mistakes on his death certificate.]
- Now. Because I want to place the citation directly on the document but in the margin, I drag with my finger the document so that I can see the margin. Then I place and hold down my finger in the margin area until the Annotation Menu appears. I tap the icon with 'abc' on it. Then I type the citation information and then press Save. If I hold down my finger on the text, the text menu appears where I can change the font size, font color, etc.
- When I'm done making annotations, I tap the middle of the screen to bring up the Main Menu.
- I tap the Export Icon [rectangle with arrow], then a Select Action Menu appears. I choose Open In.
- The Open In Menu appears and I can either save the file 'as is' or 'flatten annotations'. I choose Flatten Annotations. [Why? Because I'm a Photoshop kinda gal & when uploading to the web, flattened files are smaller. And that's the way I roll.]
- Then a scrolling menu appears listing all the apps I could export this flattened annotated PDF file to. I scroll down and choose Evernote. [However, I could've just as easily have chosen Dropbox.]
- It then appears in my Evernote App right before my eyes. Then because my Evernote iPhone app syncs with my online Evernote which then syncs to my desktop Evernote, my annotated flattened PDF copy of my 2nd great grandfather's death certificate and the annotation notes that I added appear in all my Evernote places. Like magic. And what does magic look like?
- Able to import & view any type of media whether it be images, text files, documents, complete ebooks, audio, video, etc. from anywhere, like Microsoft Word, Google Docs, Safari, an app like GeniusScan+ [like above], Evernote, Dropbox, Box.net, email attachments, etc.
- Speaking of complete ebooks, have a book that your family is in, but you wanna take some notes in the ebook? Yeah. Import that ebook and annotate to your heart's content.
- Been wishing you had some type of file system on your iPhone or iPad? [Cuz, wow. It's got a kinda anti-file system going on?] Look no further. GoodReader has an excellent file management system, and then the files are accessible to your other apps.
- A friend says, "Hey, can you take a look at this thing I wrote in Google Docs and tell me what I need to do differently? It's, like 10,000 pages about my life." No problem [OMG] with GoogleReader. Just import that puppy and tear it to shreds with the annotation menu. And? Do it in red. Then send it right back to Google Docs. Or anywhere...just because you can.
- Need to do some cropping? No problem, it can do that too. [In our example above, however, we cropped the black margins off in the GeniusScan+ app. Because why not?]
- You can do file transfers through iTunes, iCloud, wifi sharing, Apple idisk, Dropbox, SugarSync, GoogleDocs, FTP servers, etc.
- Scan any document, photo, business cards, receipts, etc.
- Auto-senses the edges of the document and then you can very easily correct it some more if needed.
- Auto-enhances the image ~ both black & white as well as color images.
- Auto-corrects the perspective so that your scanned image looks just like it was scanned the old fashioned way.
- Can convert it to JPG or PDF.
- Then can upload to email, Twitter, Facebook, Evernote, Dropbox, Google Docs, Box.net, and Expensify.
- And it also supports Wifi sharing.
The Bottom Line
These are some pretty awesome apps that can really help a researcher out when they're on the go. [And who's not these days?] However, they aren't free. But? They're cheap. Here's the lowdown on where you can find them, how much change you need to look for in your couch [or sofa if you're a sofa person. I'm not, so...] cushion so you can purchase them, and what kind of devices you can get them on:
- Available on the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. And it requires iOS 4.0 or later.
- Can be bought in iTunes or the App Store on your device.
- Costs a whopping $2.99.
- You can check it in iTunes Preview for iPhone and iPad.
- Available on the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. And it requires iOS 4.0 or later.
- Can be bought in iTunes or the App store on your device.
- Costs a whopping $4.99.
- You can check it out on the iTunes Preview for iPhone or the iTunes Preview for iPad.