How to use the Camera app on your Chromebook as a scanner

7 months ago 111
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You tin easy scan a papers oregon QR codification connected Chrome OS with built-in instrumentality cameras and the Camera app. This walk-through volition amusement you how.

Screenshot of the Chrome OS Camera app with Scan and QR Code selected and circled.

Annotation: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic

In November 2021, Google announced that Chrome OS added the quality to relation arsenic a scanner of documents arsenic good arsenic QR codes. These capabilities look arsenic caller Scan options successful the built-in Camera app, on with the existing video, photo, quadrate and representation options. 

To get started, unfastened the Camera app, arsenic usual. To bash this, you mightiness prime the launcher, participate Camera successful the hunt box, past prime the Camera app icon to unfastened the app. Next, prime Scan from the show modes and take either Document oregon QR Code. Then proceed to the steps for your selected enactment below.

How to scan a papers with the Chrome OS camera app

1. Position your document

In Scan mode, the camera attempts to auto-detect papers edges. The app displays a bluish enactment onscreen to bespeak a detected papers edge. Move the papers you privation to scan (or your machine — oregon a operation of the two) truthful that the borders of the papers are wrong the tract of presumption of the camera.

SEE: Feature comparison: Time tracking bundle and systems (TechRepublic Premium)

One important tip: Rotate your papers to maximize the information of the tract of presumption of your Chromebook camera covered by your leafage (as shown successful Figure A). Holding a modular leafage successful representation predisposition whitethorn not screen arsenic overmuch of the camera tract of presumption arsenic rotating the page. The strategy lets you rotate your scanned papers erstwhile viewing it, truthful determination your papers to get arsenic bully a scan arsenic imaginable from your Chromebook camera.

Figure A

Screenshot the Camera app, with the writer  holding a leafage   (rotated 90 degrees from a modular  printed representation    orientation) with Scan - Document mode   selected, and bluish  lines astir   the edges of the document.

When you scan a papers connected Chrome OS, set your instrumentality and your papers to marque the scanned papers capable arsenic overmuch of the camera tract of presumption arsenic possible. Note the bluish lines and corners displayed onscreen, which bespeak the app has detected papers edges.

Image: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic

2. Select the fastener to instrumentality the scan

When your papers takes up arsenic overmuch of the camera's tract of presumption arsenic imaginable and the bluish lines accurately place the edges, prime the fastener to seizure your scan. The strategy volition region portions of the representation extracurricular of the detected edges of the document, leaving you with an representation of your item.

3. Review the scan

The app displays your scan. Make definite that the scan captures each portions of your document. Sometimes erstwhile I effort a scan, I accidentally seizure an representation that cuts disconnected a information of the page. If you don't similar the displayed scan, take Retake to repetition the positioning and seizure process.

4. Save arsenic JPEG oregon PDF

Next, take to prevention your scan either arsenic a JPEG, which you mightiness typically usage for photos oregon images, oregon PDF, which you mightiness typically usage for substance oregon printed pages. The Camera app saves the record to your section system.

To entree scanned items, unfastened the Chrome OS Files app, entree My Files (from the near menu) and prime Camera. Scanned items volition beryllium displayed to the right, with system-assigned names and either .jpeg oregon .pdf record suffixes. You whitethorn unfastened and reappraisal items, arsenic shown successful Figure B. I urge you upload scanned items you privation to support for the agelong word to Google Drive.

Figure B

Screenshot of a scan of a printed leafage   from an earlier TechRepublic nonfiction  (by the author) that shows substance   and links are readable from a Chrome OS Camera app scan of a handheld page.

The Chrome OS Camera app saves scans to the My Files | Camera folder, successful either JPEG oregon PDF format. The supra scan, taken from a handheld papers with the webcam connected a Pixelbook Go, has been rotated for reading.

Image: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic

SEE: Tips for becoming a Chromebook adept (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

How to scan a QR codification with the Chrome OS Camera app

1. Place the QR codification wrong the frame

In the Chrome OS Camera app, prime the QR Code enactment that displays wrong the representation frame. Move the QR codification (or your machine — oregon a operation of the two) to align the QR codification wrong the targeted framework shown successful the Camera app. Once aligned, the app volition show the detected nexus supra the frame, arsenic shown successful Figure C

Figure C

//twitter.com/awolber) with a transcript  icon to the close    of the displayed QR codification  information  wrong   the Camera app.

The Chrome OS QR codification scanner rapidly recognizes codes from images placed wrong the indicated frame. Click a nexus to unfastened it oregon prime the icon to the close of the decoded contented to transcript the QR codification data.

Image: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic

2. Review detected QR codification information

Information detected successful the QR codification displays supra the people country successful the Camera app. As ever with QR codes, marque definite to scan accusation lone from sources you trust. Review the decoded information to corroborate it contains contented you expect (e.g., a nexus oregon text).

3. Click oregon transcript content

If the QR codification contains a link, you whitethorn click connected the nexus to unfastened it successful a caller Chrome window. Alternatively, you whitethorn prime the icon to the close of the decoded QR codification contented to transcript it and past paste the accusation elsewhere. 

While astir QR codes are links, beryllium alert that a QR codification besides whitethorn incorporate different types of information, specified arsenic a interaction card, a geographic location, substance oregon a Wi-Fi entree constituent sanction and password. If the decoded information contains thing different than a link, transcript the contented and paste the accusation into a Google Doc (or Google Keep note). That allows you to reappraisal the information and past bash thing with it (e.g., participate coordinates into Google Maps, marque a caller Wi-Fi connection, make a caller Google Contact, etc.) arsenic appropriate.

How bash you usage the Chrome OS Camera app scanner?

Typically, I urge you usage the champion camera disposable to seizure an representation oregon scan. For galore people, a smartphone camera whitethorn beryllium the champion option, but it's bully to person the quality to scan a leafage oregon QR codification from a Chromebook.

What bash you usage the Scan enactment successful the Chrome OS Camera app for? Have you tried to scan a photograph oregon a single-page document? Or person you utilized the QR codification enactment to travel a link, unfastened a societal media illustration oregon look up a edifice menu? Let maine cognize what you deliberation of the Chrome OS camera scan feature, either with a remark beneath oregon connected Twitter (@awolber).

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