Looking for B/W document-to-PDF scanner app

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Isegrimm, Jul 29, 2014.

  1. Isegrimm macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2014
    Hi, I am looking for an app to scan documents to PDF. I know apps like Tiny Scan, DocScan, Genius Scan, etc can do that, but I'm looking for one which scans in true black/white (monochrome or 1-bit) mode.
    All the apps I've tried do have a black/white mode, but in all cases this is simply grayscale, but with less grayscale levels. This way the result looks like black and white, but if you zoom in you still see shades of gray.
    This way the file size of the scan is always much more than of a scan that is really black and white. For me this is a reason not to use these apps because the resulting PDFs take unnecessarily much more storage space.

    Desktop scanners do have black/white modes, the iPhone scanners that I have tried do not. At this time an iPhone scanner is no alternative for my regular scanner because of the file size, but the desktop scanner is more hassle (taking it out, connecting to the pc, only able to scan while at the house, etc).

    Who knows of an iPhone scanner that can really scan in black/white (monochrome) mode?

    Just for illustration, a scanned page with my 5 year old Canon scanner is saved as a PDF of less than 20KB. The same page scanned with an iPhone PDF-Scanner is on average (multiple apps tested) around 200KB. Scan settings were always set at 300DPI, black/white and compression.
    If you want to scan 20 documents there's a difference of 0.4MB for the desktop scanner and 4MB for a mobile scanner.
  2. brilliantthings macrumors 6502

    Feb 13, 2011
    Scanner Pro for iphone has a black and white mode.
  3. Isegrimm, Jul 30, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014

    Isegrimm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2014
    Hi brilliantthings,
    Thanks for the suggestion, but Scanner Pro was among the apps I tested. It has indeed a black and white mode, but this is the same pseudo black and white as with the other apps.

    I uploaded a scan made with Scanner Pro to clarify.
    The first one is a small piece of the Scanner Pro-generated PDF with the black and white setting. If you look closely you see shades of gray between the black and white colors.
    The second one is the same image but converted to true black and white.
    Also, this one is much smaller in filesize.

    Basically I'm looking for a scanning app that produces the result on the right.
    (Be it with a bit better quallity, I exaggerated the conversion so it shows better what I mean)

    Attached Files:

  4. brilliantthings macrumors 6502

    Feb 13, 2011
    Ok. And the Compress Documents feature doesn't help?
  5. Isegrimm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2014
    No, the image on the left was made with the compression feature being active.
    Like I said in my first post, all apps I tested were set to 300dpi, b/w mode and compression whereever possible.
  6. brilliantthings macrumors 6502

    Feb 13, 2011
  7. Isegrimm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2014
  8. ET iPhone Home macrumors 68040

    ET iPhone Home

    Oct 5, 2011
    Orange County, California USA
    How is the right better? It has noise. The left is clearer, unless I'm not understanding this. I need a similar app too.
  9. Isegrimm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2014
    Because the filesize of the b/w output on the right is about ten times smaller than the pseudo b/w (grayscale) one.

    For someone who scans a PDF about once a week this won't be much of an issue, but I use this for archiving purposes. Basically I digitize my complete administration. In this scenario, the filesize of a single scan matters more.

    It has noise, but since I intend to use it for archiving the text just has to be at least easily readable, it doesn't have to be pretty.
    The example is also zoomed in and the b/w conversion exaggerated to make my point clear. If an app would produce b/w right away, it would be a better result than my example.

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