How to Scan a Document & Email It in a JPEG Format

By Lynn Mathews

Updated September 28, 2017

Easily scan and email a document using your home computer and scanner.
i USB cable on dotted background image by .shock from

Scanning and emailing a document can have a number of useful purposes, from filing important paperwork with an office or agency to simply forwarding information to a friend. Typically, the process for scanning and emailing a document from your home computer involves scanning the document using scanning or photo/graphics software, then emailing a saved copy using your normal email client.


Place the document you wish to scan into your scanner. Take note of the proper way to position and align your document so that it scans correctly. Make sure the printed side of the paper faces the scanning device (typically facing down on top of the glass).

Open your scanning software (which likely came with your scanner) or other software capable of working with scanners (like Adobe Photoshop or Acrobat). Look for a menu command that will start the scanning process. Choose “File / Create PDF / From Scanner” in Acrobat or “File / Import” and the name of your scanner in Photoshop. Click the appropriate command. You should see another window with more details about the scanning process.

Choose the settings for your scan, if prompted to do so. For example, you may need to specify certain image characteristics. Choose the height and width of the page (typically 8.5 inches by 11 inches for a standard document) for the image size, if necessary. Choose a higher dpi (dots per inch) or ppi (pixels per inch) for a higher quality, more detailed image, if you are prompted to make this selection.

Preview your scan, if possible, using your software’s Preview function. Scan the document once it meets your requirements.

Save the file, typically using a command under the “File” or equivalent menu. Look for a “Format” or similar drop-down selection where you can choose the file type that you want to use to save your scanned document. Choose JPEG, which ends in .JPG or .JPE, as the format for your document. Name the file something you will recognize and give it a .JPG file extension (like scanneddocument.jpg). Make sure you save the file in a location where you will remember to look for it later, such as an “Images” folder.

Open your email client and create a new email message. Attach the image to your email message using the same process you would for any other type of document, such as a text or PDF document. Click on the “Attachment” icon or link and browse to the file you saved to your hard drive or local network. Select the document you scanned and click “OK”, “Save” or the equivalent in your email client. Verify that your scanned document now appears as an attachment to your email message.