How to Scan a Document to PDF

Portable document format is a secure file that's easy to send through email or use to store documents since the file size is compressed. PDF documents are read using Adobe Reader, which is free to download (full link in Resources). Scanning a document to PDF format requires the use of a scanner and the program that creates the PDF file, Adobe Acrobat. To convert large quantities of documents to PDF, additional programs are more efficient, such as Adobe Acrobat Capture.

scanner
Use a scanner to create an electronic version of a paper file.
credit: Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images

Step

Turn the scanner on and put the document face down on top of it. Open Acrobat on your computer.

Step

Select "File," and then "Create PDF." Choose "From Scanner" as the source for the PDF file. A pop-up box appears to set scanner options.

Step

Select "New PDF Document," and then set the other options to your requirements. For a quickly-scanned, low file size file, move the selector toward "Size." For higher quality, but larger size, move the selector toward "High Quality." To make the Text Recognition and Metadata options available, you must select "Make Searchable (Run OCR)."

Step

Press "Scan." The scanner activates and stores the document as a PDF file to your computer. Once the process is complete, press "Scan More Pages" if the document larger than a single page.