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Help: Getting Started


Welcome to PDFpen Scan+!

When you open PDFpen Scan+, you will see your PDFs tiled in Documents view. Sort documents by Name or Date Last Edited by tapping the “Name” or “Date” buttons.

screen menubar

Open a document by tapping on it. Once there you can…

Tap on a page to…

  • OCR the page and preview or copy that text (See OCR).
  • Edit the page via toolbar options (See Editing).
  • Export the document via the Sharetool icon menu (See Store and Sync).
  • Delete a document (See Add/Delete).

From the menubar at the top of the screen access Tools tool icon and Edit.

  • Tap the Tools tool icon icon to access:

    • iCloud: Turn iCloud document storage and sync on or off
    • OCR Language: Select the language of OCR for accuracy (requires internet access)
    • New Document Settings:
      • Always prompt for name: A window to rename the document will appear upon exit of a newly created document
      • Include date: Date will be part of the name of a new scan
      • PDFpen’s iCloud folder: Auto-Export documents to iCloud in the PDFpen app iCloud folder.
      • Dropbox: Auto-Export new documents to Dropbox. The last used Dropbox folder will be the destination.


    • TextExpander: Turn on TextExpander touch support. This requires you to switch on TextExpander and also tap the Refresh Snippets button periodically in order to update to the current set of snippets. To learn more about TextExpander…
    • Help
    • Video Tutorials
    • Introduction: Intro document to PDFpen Scan+.
    • Acknowledgments
    • Privacy Policy
    • Contact Support: Send an email to Smile Support.
    • Sign up for Tips: Sign up to receive email tips on how to get the most out of PDFpen Scan+.
    • The app version number.
  • Tap “Edit” to access options for deleting documents.

Use the toolbar at the bottom to access scan and import options.

toolbar icons

  • Tap the camera camera icon icon to take a scan of a document, receipt, article, etc.
  • Tap the photos photo library icon to import from your Photo library.
  • Tap the plus + button to copy a PDF from iCloud Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, WebDAV, FTP, or iTunes.


camera screen

Scan a document in auto-scan mode:

  1. From Documents view tap the camera camera icon icon in the lower toolbar. This will take you to the camera screen.
    You will automatically go to auto-scan mode where PDFpen Scan+ will take the scan for you as soon as…
    • it senses the page
    • the camera is steady
    • the camera is in focus
  2. To finish, tap the page icon page with the number of pages scanned in the lower left of the screen.


  • Hold your device over the page so that the page is centered in the document guide area onscreen, then hold still.
  • If the page is not in full view an alert will ask you to center the page so that all the edges are visible. Otherwise it will not be able to crop for you.

  • It also helps to have your page (usually white) on a contrasting background (usually black or another dark color).
  • You will also notice settings along the top of the screen for…
    • Flash: turn it to On, Off, or Auto
    • Paper size: select a paper size for the scanned document
    • Color mode: select from Color, Gray scale, and Black & White

    Select your preferred settings and those settings will be saved and applied to current and future scans.

  • Multi-page scan: Scan multiple pages by putting each page in the camera’s view and letting it scan for you.

Scan a document in manual scan mode:
If you cannot hold steady for the camera, or you prefer to take the scan yourself, tap the On Auto button in the lower left so that it says Off Auto then follow the directions below to take a scan.

  1. Tap the camera button at the bottom of the screen to take the scan.

    You will see a small page page icon appear in the lower left to indicate a scan has been taken.

    A good scan will be well-lit and aligned straight up and down. Control the lighting with the flash flash button in the upper left. Use the grid lines to help you align your document.

  2. When you are finished, tap the page page icon to return to Documents view.

Multi-page scan: To take a multi-page scan, simply continue to tap the camera button. You will see a number appear in the page icon in the lower left representing the number of scans in the current document.

Cancel a scan:

To return to Documents view without taking a scan, tap Cancel in the toolbar. Once you have taken a scan, tap the page icon to return to Documents view, then delete the scan using the Edit menu. Once you take a scan there is no way to cancel it, you must return to Documents view and delete the scan.

Import image

  1. Tap the photos photo library icon in the toolbar to open your Photo library.

  2. Tap the photo you would like to import. To import a page directly into a document, open that document and tap the plus + button then “Photo Library”.

Import PDF from outside PDFpen Scan+

open in menu

    Open In…via Web

    1. View a PDF in the web browser.
    2. Tap on it. A menubar will appear along the top.
    3. Tap “Open In …”
    4. Tap “Scan+”.

    Open In…via Email

    1. Open an email with a PDF attachment.
    2. Tap and hold on the PDF attachment and a menu will open.
    3. Tap “Scan+”.

Import PDF from within PDFpen Scan+

    Import via Dropbox, Evernote and Other Cloud Services

    1. Tap the plus + button in the toolbar. A menu will popup with a list of sources and services.
    2. Tap Dropbox / Evernote / Google Drive and you will be taken to a login window. Your login name and password will be saved for future uses. For WebDAV and FTP you will need a server address as well.
    3. Locate a document, tap on it and it will import into your Documents view.

    Import via iCloud Drive

    1. Tap the plus + button in the toolbar. A menu will popup with a list of sources and services. Tap “iCloud Drive.”
      • From the following iCloud menu locate any document stored in iCloud and select it. You will see different app folders with iCloud documents to choose from.
      • To import a document not in iCloud, from another sync service or a server, like Alfresco or Box, tap “Locations” > “More…” to open the “Document Providers” menu. Switch on your preferred provider service to allow iCloud access to it and tap “Done.” You will then exit and re-enter the iCloud Drive menu to find that provider listed in the “Locations” menu. Open it to locate your document. If you are trying to access a server, you will need an app which supports iCloud Drive.

    Import via WebDAV / FTP

    1. Tap the plus + button in the toolbar. A menu will popup with a list of sources and services.
    2. Tap WebDAV / FTP and you will be taken to a login window, you will need your server address, login name and password.
    3. Locate a document, tap on it and it will import into your Documents view.

    Import via iTunes (USB)

    1. Connect your iPad via USB to your computer. Open iTunes on your computer. You will see your iPad appear in the left-hand column under “Devices”.
    2. Select your iPad and, on the right, go to the “Apps” tab.
    3. Scroll to the bottom, under “File Sharing” in the “Apps” list select “PDFpen Scan+”.
    4. Click “Add” and locate the document you want to import. Select that file and click “Choose”.
    5. Open PDFpen Scan+ on your iPad.
    6. From Documents view, tap the plus + button and select “iTunes” from the list of input methods. You will see a list of possible files.
    7. Tap the document you want to import.

    Import via iTunes (wireless)

    1. Make sure your mobile device is running iOS 5 or higher and on the same local Wi-Fi network as your Mac.
    2. On your computer, in iTunes, click on your iPad in the left column.
    3. In the main area to the right, under the “Summary” tab, scroll down to the “Options” section.
    4. Check “Sync with this iPad over Wi-Fi”. Your iPad will now be able to sync with this computer when both are on the same Wi-Fi network.
    5. Continue with the instructions for “Import via iTunes (USB)” beginning with step 2.




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