Scan Thing is a very practical scanning application for iOS and iPadOS. Take a photo of an object and it will be automatically cropped and separated from the background! In this article we will tell you how to work with it.

Sometimes you come across apps that you think are ‘perfect’! Scan Thing is one of them. If you regularly take photos of objects whose background you need to remove, you know that it’s just time consuming. Photoshop has a feature to do this quickly these days, of course, but not everyone has the (reserve) money for this package. And if you’re otherwise happy with the photo editor you have, is it just to buy it for quick cropping?

Also read: Photoshop for iPad – Cut and Adjust Objects

The Scan Thing app does the same for you, but for a one-time fee of a few euros. Put an object, preferably well-lit, on the table and take a photo. The magic begins immediately: you see the object you cut floating. When you’re satisfied with the crop, tap . save, then the image is transparently placed on the camera roll. From there, you can access it with any photo editing app you want.

The crop is created immediately after the photo is taken.

Automatic cropping – as experience has shown – works very well. In fact, it will almost never go wrong if you make sure that the object to be cut is as separate as possible from the surrounding objects. Sometimes care is needed if only the background color and the color of the object (or some of the colors) are very similar.

from available photos

Scan Thing can also extract objects from photos that have already been taken so they are on the camera roll. To do this, tap the fourth button seen from above on the live home panel of the app. Select a photo and tap . Add† In the preview, drag a selection around the object to be cropped with your finger. Pleased? Tap the checkmark and then save

With the second function – or cutting out objects from camera roll photos – you actually get the Photoshop functionality mentioned above. The striking thing about technology is that it works so fast.

Scan documents

Scan Thing can do even more. It is also a document scanner that automatically corrects the photographed pages properly. To do this, tap the button at the top, then you will default to auto-scan mode. This works nice and fast: Place a page on the screen, then the app automatically recognizes, selects, photos and fixes it.

Is all this a little too fast for you, you can also choose the option. Manual faucet; in this case you have to touch the shutter yourself. For the rest, in principle, everything will continue to work fully automatically, but if desired, it is possible to fine-tune the automatically selected cropping and perspective correction.

The Scan Thing’s magic isn’t over yet. After scanning one or more pages, tap . save, then the OCR is released on the document. Tap the share button and export everything as PDF to your favorite PDF viewer.

The original ‘scan photo’ is retained, but you can now select the text in it. Ideal if you want to later use excerpts from, for example, a (library) book in an article or report: select, copy and paste.

Keep text only

If you really only need the text of one page, that’s fine with Scan Thing either. To do this, tap the top button with dashes on the main panel. Tap to start the OCR procedure. Text

You have to be a little careful here because Scan Thing doesn’t read Dutch (yet?). You can select your desired language at the top by tapping the language button (English by default). You can then select one of the available languages.

If you then tap the Text button, OCR will be performed on the text on the screen immediately; with a touch copy transfer the text to your device clipboard. From there, you can paste it into any application that can handle the text, such as your word processor.

Another example: This is what the cropped object looks like from the photo at the beginning of this article.


There is a settings button at the top right to set Scan Thing to work the way you want. It looks like a block with a slider. Tap it and the settings menu will open. Here you can choose the start mode (Default Scan Mode) and default text recognition language.

You can turn the key if you want. Crop Transparent Pixels below Image Export Settings to open. There is a caveat that you may lose extra browsing time as a result of this, but in practice we don’t really notice this. An older iPhone or iPad may indeed have more trouble with it, so it’s just a matter of trying.

PDF quality

Be sure to take a look below PDF Export Settings, here you will find a slider to adjust the quality of a scanned document to your liking. A higher resolution leads to larger files. However, you should keep in mind that the scanning resolution is significantly lower compared to the flatbed scanner. Therefore, it is better to choose a higher storage resolution so that you can print PDFs properly later.

Finally: Scan Things is not only available for iOS and iPadOS, but also for MacOS. While the average iPad or iPhone’s camera is significantly better than a Mac’s average webcam. And the flexibility of a separately hand-held device is of course much more convenient.

Anyway, we think it’s one of the ‘must have’ apps for your mobile!

Source: Computer Totaal

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