What do you do when you have to send a scanned copy of a document or image, but have no scanner? An option can be to attach a photograph of the concerned document. However, this is likely to be unacceptable due to official requirements in offices and will appear quite unprofessional. Cam to Scan is a free software that makes pictures of ordinary documents appear like scanned copies. It is a cross-platform application and has versions available for both Windows and Mac OS X.
Using Cam to Scan is easy, just open any image to start the transformation process. The edges of the document are automatically detected by Cam to Scan. This way the main document is singled out from the image’s background. In case the edges are not correctly detected, you can drag the edges yourself, to correctly assign the area that is to be cropped.
You can click Straighten button, to correct the document alignment. This will pop-up a new window, where you will get the option to select the correct alignment by rotating the document (if necessary). This can help you make the document output copy appear straight (specially if the picture makes the document appear crooked).
Similarly, you can correct the brightness and contrast of the document. Once you are done with the restructuring the document’s appearance, click Save As to save the document in JPG format.
The below image demonstrates the usefulness of this tool. The final output of the document will mainly depend on a number of factors, including the quality of your camera, the original print of the document and the way you take the picture (for example, make sure its not blurred by camera movement).
Cam to Scan has a free and a few paid versions with a starting price of approximately $39.95. The free version is limited to detection of 10 output points, you can only process one image at a time (in the light version) and it is limited to brightness/contrast and alignment correction of the document. Whereas, the paid version offers Unlimited detection of outline points, wizard for perspective/lens, manual correction of brightness, support for PNG and printing, as well as batch image processing. Also check out CloudScan, which allows scanning documents remotely and also enables saving them to Google Docs.
Cam to Scan works with the following Windows operating systems:
- Windows XP
- Windows Vista
- Windows 7
- Mac OS X