How to Scan a Document to PDF

by Christina Shaffer
You can scan a document to PDF using a flat-bed scanner or all-in-one printer.

You can scan a document to PDF using a flat-bed scanner or all-in-one printer.

The PDF format retains all of the formatting and visual elements of the original document, making it suitable for printing and sharing. Anyone who has the free Adobe Reader application installed on his PC can open the file without having to purchase software. Not all scanners support scanning and saving a document to PDF format though. If your scanner doesn't, use Adobe Acrobat or install a free third-party program such as Scan2PDF or Scan to PDF.

Using Adobe Acrobat

1

Click the “Create” button on the Quick Tools toolbar. Highlight “PDF from Scanner” in the drop-down list and select your preferred scan setting, such as color, black and white, or grayscale.

2

Click the “Scanner” drop-down menu in the Scan dialog box and then select the scanner or all-in-one printer you want to use.

3

Select your preferred output settings. By default, Adobe selects the New PDF Document option. Check the box next to the “Append to Existing File or Portfolio” option if you would like to attach the scanned document to a PDF file on your hard drive. Click the “Browse” button to locate and select an existing file.

4

Select a scan quality by clicking and dragging the slider bar to your desired location. Selecting a higher setting creates a better quality PDF, but the size of the file is larger.

5

Check the box next to the “Make Searchable (Run OCR)” to create a fully searchable PDF, allowing you to use the Find command to locate keywords within the document.

6

Click the “Scan” button, and the scanned image appears in Acrobat when the process is complete.

7

Click the “File” tab, highlight the “Save As” option and select “PDF.” Enter a file name for the document and select your preferred destination folder. Click the “Save” button.

Using Scan2PDF

1

Click the “Scan” tab and select “Scan Image.” Enter the number of pages you want to scan and click “OK.”

2

Select the scanning device in the “Select Source” window and then click the “Select” button to scan the document. When the process is complete, a preview of the document is displayed.

3

Click the “File” tab and select the “Save to PDF” option. Enter a file name for the PDF and select a destination folder. Click the “Save” button.

Using Scan to PDF

1

Click the “Scan New Page” button. Choose the scanner or All-in-One printer in the Select Source dialog box and then click the “Select” button.

2

Check the box next to your preferred scan setting, such as color, grayscale, or black and white. If you want to adjust the resolution of the scan, click the “Adjust the Quality of the Scanned Picture” link and select your preferred DPI setting from the Resolution drop-down menu. Click “OK” to save any changes.

3

Click the “Scan” button to scan the document. The scanned image is displayed when the process is complete.

4

Click the “Make PDF” button to convert the scanned document to PDF format. Click “OK” when the conversion process is complete. The PDF gets saved to the desktop automatically.

About the Author

Christina Shaffer is a freelance writer based in New Jersey and has been writing arts and entertainment articles since 2005. Her articles have appeared in "Philadelphia City Paper." Shaffer received a B.A. in journalism and gender studies at Rutgers University.

Photo Credits

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