Scanning and emailing homework

Scans must be:

  • a single document (with multiple pages if applicable)
  • black and white (not grayscale or color)—or if color is essential, make sure your scan still has a bright white background
  • in .pdf format.

These procedures are important enough to me that I’ve made a tutorial to address it! I’m going to explain how to create such a file in two ways: at a printer on campus, or with an app on your phone.

On a campus printer

Any printer on campus should have a scan function available to you for 3¢ per scan. To make this tutorial, I took photos of the printer in the music office.

  • photo of printer screen and buttons
  • Photo of Main Menu screen.
  • Photo of Scan and Send screen.
  • Pointing to "auto (color/gray)" on Scan and Send screen.
  • Select color screen.
  • Photo of document feeder
  • Photo of scanning bed

On your smartphone

If you’re not on campus, the best way to scan might be by using your phone. There are two different free apps I have used successfully to do this, ABBYY FineScanner and CamScanner, and I will give you a guide for each.

Here are general guidelines for any app:

  • This works best with flat pages, so you might want to still remove the pages from a workbook.
  • Make sure to select the option for a multi-page document (often called “batch” mode).
  • Place the document against a dark background, because the app can probably auto-crop the document for you, but only if it can detect the edges. Putting a white page against your brown desk or similar will make the page vs the background high contrast and help the computer do its job.
  • If the auto-cropping doesn’t work, adjust the cropping and the corners after taking the photos, because this will un-distort the scan.
  • Ensure that the lighting is not too bright or too dark.
  • Be sure to select the Black and White option as a filter for your scan.
  • After you’re finished, click the Share button, select PDF, and send to yourself, to me, or wherever it needs to go to arrive in my inbox.

If you still need more help, scroll down to the photo tutorial for either ABBYY or CamScanner.


  • all gallery images are screenshots of the app


  • all photos are screenshots of the app