If you scan documents, you need this new Adobe app

  • Adobe Scan is a new free app for scanning your documents.
  • You can use Adobe Document Cloud to edit documents, but you need to subscribe for that.
  • The app is free. Here's how it works.
Handout: Adobe Scan
Adobe

Apps that can help you scan documents are a dime a dozen, but I haven't found one that's as simple to use and feature-rich as Adobe's new app "Adobe Scan."

Until now, I typically used Microsoft's free "Office Lens" app to scan documents such as contracts that I need to sign. Then, usually, I'll just share it right from the app and delete the original file.

Adobe changes things up with Adobe Scan, which is free for users who already have an existing Adobe Document Cloud account. Premium accounts that let you edit documents or access services such as Adobe Sign start at $5.83/month.

Instead of just getting rid of the file I've scanned, as I do with Office Lens, I can save it and edit it later. That's thanks to the company's use of optical character recognition. Since it recognizes text, you can just re-open the file on your computer and tweak the language of your contract, business card, pitch, resume or any other document.

Take a look at how it works. Just for kicks, I scanned an early version of this article as my document.

I just opened the app and pointed it at my draft. It's ridiculously fast at recognizing a document and pulling it in.

CNBC Tech: Adobe Scan 5
Todd Haselton | CNBC

Once you have a scan, you can rotate it, crop it, add more pages to it or save it as a PDF.

CNBC Tech: Adobe Scan 6
Todd Haselton | CNBC

Once it's saved, you can open it on a computer by visiting documents.adobe.com and logging in to your Adobe Cloud account. Here's the main page. Tap "Manage files" to find your PDF.

CNBC Tech: Adobe Scan 4
Todd Haselton | CNBC

Open the Adobe Scan folder.

CNBC Tech: Adobe Scan
Todd Haselton | CNBC

Open the document you just snapped on your phone.

CNBC Tech: Adobe Scan 2
Todd Haselton | CNBC

If you subscribe to a premium Adobe Document Cloud plan, you can edit the document, combine files and more. Or, if you want to keep things free, you can just view and manage your documents here.

CNBC Tech: Adobe Scan 3
Todd Haselton | CNBC