Scan a paper document to PDF

You can create a PDF file directly from a paper document, using your scanner and Acrobat. On Windows, Acrobat supports TWAIN scanner drivers and Windows Image Acquisition (WIA) drivers.

In Windows, you can either use the Autodetect color mode and let Acrobat determine the paper document’s content type, or use other presets (Black & White Document, Grayscale Document, Color Image, and Color Document) based on your judgement. You can configure the scanning presets or use the Custom Scan option to scan with the settings of your choice.

Note: Preset scanning is available only for scanner drivers that support Hide Scanner’s Native Interface mode. The scanning presets are not available on Mac OS.

In Windows, if a WIA driver is installed for your scanner, you can use the Scan button on your scanner to create a PDF. Press the Scan button, and then in Windows, choose Adobe Acrobat from the list of registered applications. Then, in the Acrobat Scan dialog box, select a scanner and a document preset or Custom Scan.

After you scan a document to PDF, you can apply security settings using one of the security or batch processing methods in Acrobat, or using JavaScript. For more information see the documents at learn.adobe.com/wiki/display/security/Document+Library.

For more information on scanning, see these resources:

Scan a paper document to PDF using a Autodetect Color Mode (Windows)

  1. Choose File > Create > PDF from Scanner > Autodetect Color Mode.
  2. If prompted to scan more pages, select Scan More Pages, Scan Reverse Sides, or Scan Is Complete, and click OK.

Scan a paper document to PDF using a preset (Windows)

  1. Choose File > Create > PDF from Scanner > [document preset].
  2. If prompted to scan more pages, select Scan More Pages, Scan Reverse Sides, or Scan Is Complete, and click OK.

Scan a paper document to PDF without presets

  1. In Acrobat, do one of the following:
    • (Windows) Choose File > Create > PDF from Scanner > Custom Scan.

    • (Mac OS) Choose File > Create > PDF from Scanner.

  2. Select scanning options in the Scan dialog box, as needed, and then click Scan.
    Note: If you specify that you want to use the native scanner user interface instead of the Acrobat user interface, other windows or dialog boxes appear. Consult the scanner documentation information on available options. In Mac OS, the scanner user interface is always shown.
  3. If prompted to scan more pages, select Scan More Pages, Scan Reverse Sides, or Scan Is Complete, and click OK.

Optimize a scanned PDF

  1. Open a PDF created from a scanned document.
  2. Choose Tools > Document Processing > Optimize Scanned PDF.
  3. Select options in the Optimize Scanned PDF dialog box, and click OK.

Configure scanning presets (Windows)

  1. Choose File > Create > PDF from Scanner > Configure Presets.
  2. In the Configure Presets dialog box, select a preset: Autodetect Color Mode, Black & White Document, Grayscale Document, Color Document, or Color Image.
  3. Adjust the settings as needed.
  4. Click Save to save the preset, and then click Close.

Scanning options

Scanner
Select an installed scanner. You must have the manufacturer scanning software installed on your computer. In Windows only, click the Options button to specify scanner options.

Presets
Select a preset to modify.

Sides
Specify single or double-sided scanning. If you select Both Sides and the settings of the scanner are for only one side, the scanner setting overrides the Acrobat settings.
Note: You can scan both sides of pages even on scanners that do not themselves support two-sided scanning. When Both Sides is selected, a dialog box appears after the first sides are scanned. You can then reverse the original paper documents in the tray, and select the Scan Reverse Side (Put Reverse Of Sheets) option in that dialog box. This method produces a PDF with all pages in the proper sequence.

Color Mode (Windows only)
Select a basic color mode (Autodetect, Color, Black and White, or Grayscale) supported by your scanner. This option is enabled if your Scanner Options are set to use the Acrobat scanning dialog box instead of the scanner application.

Resolution (Windows only)
Select a resolution supported by your scanner. This option is enabled if your Scanner Options are set to use the Acrobat scanning dialog box instead of the scanner application.
Note: If you select a Color Mode or Resolution option not supported by your scanner, a message appears and your scanner application window opens. Select different options in the scanner application window.

Paper Size (Windows only)
Select a paper size or specify a custom width and height.

Prompt For Scanning More Pages
When selected, a dialog box prompting you to scan additional pages appears after every scanning session.

New PDF Document
Creates a new PDF. This option is not available in the Configure Presets dialog box.

Multiple Files
Creates multiple files from multiple paper documents. Click More Options, and specify whether to create a PDF Portfolio of the files, the number of pages for each file, and a filename prefix. These options are not available in the Configure Presets dialog box.

Append To Existing File Or Portfolio
Adds the converted scan to an existing PDF or PDF Portfolio. This option is not available in the Configure Presets dialog box.

Optimize Scanned PDF
Select this option to run the optimization process on the PDF. This option is used to compresses and filter the images in the scanned PDF.

Small Size/High Quality
Drag the slider to set the balance point between file size and quality. Click Options to customize optimization with specific settings for file compression and filtering.

Make Searchable (Run OCR)
Select this option to convert text images in the PDF to searchable and selectable text. This option applies optical character recognition (OCR) and font and page recognition to the text images. Click Options to specify settings in the Recognize Text - Settings dialog box. See Recognize text in scanned documents.

Make PDF/A Compliant
Select this option to make the PDF conform to ISO standards for PDF/A-1b. When selected, only Searchable Image is available in the Recognize Text - Settings dialog box for the PDF Output Style option.

Add Metadata
When selected, the Document Properties dialog box appears after scanning. In the Document Properties dialog box, you can add metadata, or information about the scanned document, to the PDF file. If you are creating multiple files, you can enter common metadata for all of the files.

Scanner Options dialog box

Data Transfer Method
Native Mode transfers in the default mode for your scanner. Memory Mode is automatically selected for scanning in resolutions over 600 dots per inch (dpi).

User Interface
The Hide Scanner’s Native Interface option bypasses the windows and dialog boxes provided by the scanner manufacturer. Instead, scanning starts directly with the settings specified in the Custom Scan settings.

Invert Black And White Images
This option creates positive images from black-and-white negatives, for example.

Optimize Scanned PDF dialog box

The Optimize Scanned PDF dialog box controls the image settings of how scanned images are filtered and compressed for the PDF. Default settings are suitable for a wide range of document pages, but you may want to customize settings for higher-quality images, smaller file sizes, or scanning issues.

Apply Adaptive Compression
Divides each page into black-and-white, grayscale, and color regions and chooses a representation that preserves appearance while highly compressing each type of content. The recommended scanning resolutions are 300 dots per inch (dpi) for grayscale and RGB input, or 600 dpi for black-and-white input.

Color/Grayscale settings
When scanning color or grayscale pages, select one of the following:
JPEG2000
Applies JPEG2000 compression to the colored image content. (This setting is not recommended when creating PDF/A files. Use JPEG instead.)

ZIP
Applies ZIP compression to the colored image content.

JPEG
Applies JPEG compression to the colored image content.
Note: The scanner uses either the selected Color/Grayscale option or the selected Monochrome option. Which one is used depends on the settings you select in the Acrobat Scan dialog box or in the scanner’s TWAIN interface, which may open after you click Scan in the Acrobat Scan dialog box. (By default, the scanner application dialog box does not open.)

Monochrome
When scanning black-and-white or monotone images, select one of the following:
JBIG2 (Lossless) & JBIG2(Lossy)
Applies the JBIG2 compression method to black-and-white input pages. Highest quality levels use the lossless method; at lower settings, text is highly compressed. Text pages typically are 60% smaller than CCITT Group 4 compressed pages, but processing is slow. Compatible with Acrobat 5.0 (PDF 1.4) and later.
Note: For compatibility with Acrobat 4.0, use a compression method other than JBIG2.

CCITT Group 4
Applies CCITT Group 4 compression to black-and-white input page images. This fast, lossless compression method is compatible with Acrobat 3.0 (PDF 1.2) and later.

Small Size/High Quality
Sets the balance point between file size and quality.

Deskew
Rotates any page that is not square with the sides of the scanner bed, to make the PDF page align vertically. Choose On or Off.

Background Removal
Whitens nearly white areas of grayscale and color input (not black-and-white input).
For best results, calibrate your scanner’s contrast and brightness settings so that a scan of a normal black-and-white page has dark gray or black text and a white background. Then, Off or Low should produce good results. If scanning off-white paper or newsprint, use Medium or High to clean up the page.

Descreen
Removes halftone dot structure, which can reduce JPEG compression, cause moire patterns, and make text difficult to recognize. Suitable for 200–400-dpi grayscale or RGB input or, for Adaptive compression, 400–600-dpi black-and-white input. The On setting (recommended) applies the filter for 300 dpi or higher grayscale and RGB input. Select Off when scanning a page with no pictures or filled areas, or when scanning at a resolution higher than the effective range.

Text Sharpening
Sharpens the text of the scanned PDF file. The default value of low is suitable for most documents. Increase it if the quality of the printed document is low and the text is unclear.