Grand Traverse-Leelanau-Antrim Bar Association

April 2017 Newsletter

Feature Article:  Make Pictures and Documents Searchable for Your iPhone and iPad using IRIScan

by Michael Naughton

In today's document-intensive age, the ability to quickly search thousands of documents is a game-changer. Now, smaller firms and solo practitioners can quickly (and inexpensively) make pictures, PDFs and other documents searchable on the fly with their iPhone or iPad. 

OCR, or optical character recognition, is software that recognizes text in pictures and PDFs and converts them into a searchable format. Most desktop software solutions for OCR can be quite expensive. However, a cheaper alternative exists for iOS (Mac devices).

IRIScan for iOS turns your iPhone and iPad into a scanner on the fly.

What's more, it can convert the text from pictures or files into searchable formats, such as Word, or PDF/a. IRIScan allows you to scan documents to cloud providers (such as Dropbox, Box and Google Drive), convert the text to Word or searchable PDFs, and permits you to export the files and save to cloud providers or Word. 

IRIScan to PDF costs $3.99 on the Apple App Store, and the IRIScan to Word costs $4.99. Both services complement each other very well and, compared to Adobe Acrobat Pro, which costs $14.99 a month, it's a steal. 

This tool is very accessible to just about any solo practitioner or small business owner. IRIScan is an inexpensive and elegant way to carry a scanner and OCR software in your pocket.

In the next article, we'll provide another inexpensive solution on how to save and annotate PDFs on iOS using Readdle's PDF Expert.

Michael Naughton is a partner at North Coast Legal, PLC. He is an experienced litigator who has fused technology and the practice of law.  He serves as a Governor of the GTLA, and on the board of TCNewTech, the Grand Traverse Economic Development Corporation, and the Utopia Foundation.

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