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    How to scan multiple pages into one PDF file

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    Aina Prat Blasi

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    Typically, when scanning multiple pages, the scanner creates a new file for each scan. This works if the scanned pages do not need to be combined. However, when scanning a multi-page document, it can sometimes be useful to create a PDF file containing all the scanned pages. You can scan multiple pages into a single PDF file on almost all popular platforms, namely Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.

    Scan multiple pages into one PDF on Windows using NAPS2

    Windows PCs come preloaded with a utility called Windows Fax and Scan to help users scan documents. However, this utility cannot create a single PDF from multiple scans.

    This is where the batch scanning mode of a free and open source app like NAPS2 can scan multiple pages and save them as a PDF file.

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    If you've already installed the drivers for your scanner, here's how to use this app to scan multiple pages into one PDF:

    1. Connect the scanner to the Windows PC using a cable.
    2. Download, install and launch the app NAPS2 on the PC.
    3. From the main app screen, select profiles. Add a profile for the scanner to the app.
    4. Select New in the following screen to add a new profile.
    5. Enter a name for the profile above; this could be a name of your choice.
    6. Then, select Choose device, select your scanner from the list and select OK.
    7. Configure various options on the screen, then select OK down.
    8. Select end to close the Profiles window.
    9. Put the first page in the scanner.
    10. Back to NAPS2, select the small arrow next to Scan and select Batch scan. Alternatively, press the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + B.
    11. In the window, select the newly created profile from the drop-down menu Profile.
    12. Select Multiple scans (prompt between scans).
    13. In the section output, select Save to a single file.
    14. Then, select the three points in the field File path to choose a folder to save the PDF file.
    15. Finally, select starts at the top to start scanning the page.
    16. When the first page is scanned, a message will appear on the screen. Put the next page in the scanner and select Scan in this prompt.
    17. After all pages have been scanned, select end in the prompt.

    A single PDF containing all scans should be available in the specified directory.

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    Scan multiple pages into one PDF on macOS using Preview

    On macOS, the built-in Preview app can be used to create a PDF from multiple scans. Steps to use Preview to scan multiple pages into one PDF:

    1. Make sure the scanner is connected to the Mac with a cable.
    2. Select the Launchpad in the Dock on your Mac, search Preview and open the app.
    3. When Preview opens, select the menu Fillet and select Import from.
    4. If you don't see any options on the screen, select Show details down.
    5. Select PDF from the drop-down menu Format to the right.
    6. Select the option Combine into one document.
    7. Change other options as needed.
    8. Select the scan preview on the left and press Command + A on the keyboard. This selects the entire scan.
    9. Select Scan down.
    10. Put the next page in the scanner and select Scan preview.
    11. Select the Background Preview window to view the PDF file.
    12. Select the menu Fillet and select Save to save the file.

    In addition to Preview, you can use Image Capture to scan multiple pages into a single PDF file on macOS.

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    Scan multiple pages into one PDF file on Android using Google Drive

    Google Drive is one of several apps that can be used to combine multiple page scans into a single PDF file. Here's how to do it:

    1. Install the Google Drive app on your phone.
    2. Launch the app Google Drive and tap the icon Add (+) in the lower right corner.
    3. Select Scan to open the scan function.
    4. To start scanning, point your phone's camera at the page you want to scan. Tap the shutter button when the document appears correctly in the camera frame
    5. If the result looks good, tap the check icon to save the first scan, otherwise tap X to restart the scanning process.
    6. Preview the first scan. To add a page to this new PDF, tap the icon Add (+) in the lower left corner.
    7. Repeat this process for all pages of the document.
    8. Finally, tap Save to save the single PDF containing the multiple scans.
    9. Name the PDF, choose an account, select a folder to save the file to, and tap Save.

    Scan multiple pages into one PDF file on iOS using Apple Notes

    When using an iPhone or iPad, use Apple's Notes app to scan multiple pages into a single PDF file. 

    To use this feature, make sure your iPhone or iPad is running iOS 11 or later. Check the current iOS version by going to Settings > Generali > Information on the device. You will see the iOS version next to Software version.

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    After verifying that your device is running the supported iOS version, follow these steps to scan multiple pages into a single PDF file:

    1. Open the app Notes on the device.
    2. Tap the icon at the bottom right to create a new note.
    3. On the new notes screen, tap the sign Add (+) below and choose Scanning documents.
    4. Point the camera at the document and press the shutter button to take a photo of the document.
    5. Adjust the captured photo using the on-screen handlers. Touch Keep Scanning below if the scan looks correct. Otherwise, tap Take again to take a new photo of the page.
    6. Repeat the steps for all pages.
    7. When all pages have been scanned, tap Save in the lower right corner.
    8. Tap the document you just scanned in Notes.
    9. Tap the share icon at the top right to share the multiple scanned pages as a single PDF file.

    Bonus tip: use the default scanner app to create PDF files

    Almost all scanner manufacturers have apps to help scan documents. Enable this option in these apps to combine multiple scans into one PDF file.

    Brands like HP, Epson, and Canon have instructions on their sites on how to create a PDF from multiple scanned pages. Hopefully, one of the methods above will allow you to quickly create your PDF. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to leave a comment.

    Further Reading:

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    • 4 ways to convert PDF to Word
    • The best Android scanner apps
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