Scan and Sign Documents Using Your iPhone or iPad for Free

Have you ever needed to scan and email a document but didn’t have access to a scanner? You’re in luck! You can scan (and electronically sign!) documents using the built in Notes app on your iPhone or iPad.

Scanning Documents

To begin, open up the Notes app on your iOS device. From there, choose an existing note or create a new one by tapping the new icon.

Toolbar with the "new" icon in last position

Next, tap the camera icon on the top navigation bar.

Toolbar with the camera icon in the second position

Choose Scan Documents from the menu.

screenshot with "scan documents" as the first option in a list

The camera will open and you will see the option for Auto or Manual. Auto attempts to find blocks of text to scan, and manual will let you choose the area manually. Once you have your document in the frame, you can tap the white button or the volume down button on the side of your device to take a picture.

Screenshot of the scanning view with the whit button at the right of the image

After the document image has been captured, you can select the area you would like in your PDF by tapping and dragging the white circles on the corners of the scan. When you have selected the area you would like in your document, you can tap Keep Scan. If you are unhappy with the capture, tap on Retake.

Screenshot showing the retake option at the lower left of the screen

If you only have a one-page document, tap save. If you have a multipage document, continue to capture images, and when you are finished, tap on Save. You will see the images you have already scanned in the bottom center of the screen.

Screenshot of a new scan showing a thumbnail of the previous scan in the bottom center of the screen

Once you tap save, you will see your saved document in the note. To share the document to email, text, files, or other platforms, open the document by tapping on the picture of it. The default name will be Scanned Documents, unless the scan detects clearly written text in the header of the document. The document will be in PDF format, which is easily accessible to different operating systems.

Screenshot showing the scan for selection to open

Once you have tapped on the document to open it, tap on the share icon and choose how you would like to share it. If you would like to rename the document prior to sharing it, tap on its name in yellow in the top center and enter the new name.

Screenshot showing the menu under the share icon

Signing Documents

Once a document has been scanned, you can also add an electronic signature, either typed with text or signed with your finger or stylus on the screen. As mentioned in the previous step, tap on the picture of the document to open it, and then tap the share icon. From the share menu, tap on Markup. A toolbar will pop up near the bottom of the screen. To add a signature, tap on the plus icon, and then tap on Signature.

Screenshot showing the markup toolbar with the menu from the "plus icon" showing

Once you tap on signature, a box will pop up where you can sign your name with your finger or a stylus. You also have the option to add a text field, which may come in handy if the document has a field that requires a printed name.

Screenshot showing signature box

Once you’ve signed your name, tap on done. If you make a mistake and need to start over, tap on clear. After you’ve tapped done, you can resize the signature by tapping on the blue circles in the corners of the signature box and dragging them to your desired size. You can move the box to your desired location in the document. If you want to delete the signature field, simply tap on your signature and then choose delete. Once you have created a signature, your device will save it for easy access in the future. If you would like to delete saved signatures, tap the plus sign, then signature, and then add or remove the signature. You’ll see a list of saved signatures and you can tap the red symbol next to the saved signature to delete it. You can also add another signature by tapping the plus symbol on the top left.

Screenshot showing entered signature

Once you have added your changes, you can share the document using the method discussed earlier. If you would like to remove signatures after exiting the app, open the scanned document in your note and choose markup. You can remove any previous additions by tapping on them and choosing delete. In addition to text fields and signatures, you can also add a description. Image descriptions can be read by screen readers and are useful for anyone who has difficulty seeing images online. You can also use the magnifier to enlarge portions of the document. Another markup option is adding shapes that include a square, a circle, a dialog symbol, and an arrow. You also have the standard markup tools available as well: the marker, highlighter, colored pencil, eraser, lasso tool, and ruler.


Scanning and signing an electronic document can be done will your iPhone or iPad. You can create multipage PDF files, add electronic signatures, and easily share your documents via email, text, or other methods by using a built-in feature of the Notes app. Have you tried scanning documents with your iPhone or iPad? Let us know in the comments.

Helpful Trick: What Happens When You Tap Your iPhone’s Back?

Did you know that the back Apple logo on your iPhone is not just for decoration? By accessing certain settings, you can have your iPhone perform certain functions with just a double or triple tap. Please note that this applies only to iPhones and not iPads.

To get started, go into the Settings app and then tap on Accessibility.

screenshot settings options

Next, scroll down to Touch, which is under the Physical and Motor heading.

screenshot accessibility options

Once you’re on the Touch screen, scroll to the bottom and tap on Back Tap.

screenshot touch options

Next, you’ll have the option on what action is taken when you double or triple tap. Double tap or triple tap means tapping the phone twice or three times in quick succession. Tap on either double tap or triple tap.

screenshot back tap options

Once you’ve selected double or triple tap, you’ll get a list of possible actions.

screenshot double tap options

You’ll get a decent sized list of system actions, including activating Siri, volume down, going to the home screen, and more. If you scroll down, there are also more accessibility features, scroll gestures, and custom Shortcuts you can make with the built-in Shortcuts app.

Have you tried out this feature? Let us know in the comments.

Libby 101: Virtual Presentation

On February 3, 2022, the library held a virtual program via Zoom called Libby 101. The program was basic intro to the Libby app, which is the app created by OverDrive to read and listen to e-books, audiobooks, and magazines. If you are currently using the OverDrive app, please be aware that it will no longer be supported as of February 23, 2022 and you are encouraged to use the Libby app instead.

If you were unable to attend the virtual program, you’re in luck! We have recorded the presentation and uploaded it to our YouTube channel. We have also uploaded a PDF file of the presentation as well.

We have divided the presentation into parts, so you can easily find the information that you’re looking for. If you would like to watch the entire presentation, please view the playlist on our YouTube channel.

Part One: Getting Started With Libby: How to get started with the app and the steps to take after downloading the app and opening it for the first time.

Part Two: Browsing and Searching: How to browse and search for content on the Libby app.

Part Three: Borrowing and Placing a Hold: How to borrow an item and how to place a hold on an item.

Part Four: The Shelf: Loans: We discuss the loans section of the Shelf section of the Libby app.

Part Five: The Shelf: Holds: We discuss the Holds section of the Shelf on the Libby app.

Part Six: Reading and Listening Settings: How to adjust the settings used while reading and listening to digital content.

Part Seven: Settings: The settings section of the Libby app.

Part Eight: Libby Demo. A demo of the Libby app on an iPad.

If you have any questions about the Libby app, please call the library or ask a librarian when you’re in the library.

Do you use the Libby app? Let us know in the comments.

Wordle: The Game Everyone is Talking About

You may have seen Wordle mentioned on Facebook or other social media websites. Wordle is a popular word game where the goal is to try and guess a five letter word in six tries. Once you have solved the day’s puzzle, you are given the option to share your results on social media. The results show which day’s puzzle (denoted with a number, the puzzle pictured below was puzzle number 204), how many attempts it took you to solve, and how many letters you got correct on each attempt, along with the total number of tries you took.

Example of Wordle Results

The rules of the game are pretty straightforward. You enter a five letter word, and the letters you chose will turn either grey, yellow, or green. They will be grey if that letter is not in the word, yellow if it’s in the word but in the wrong place, or green if it’s the correct letter in the correct place. There is an on screen keyboard that keeps track of which letters you have guessed already, and whether or not they were part of the word or in the correct place in the word.

Examples of How to Play

As of right now, there is no official Wordle app, though there are many copycats on both the App Store and the Google Play Store. According to reviews, these are poor imitations and often have bugs or don’t accept valid words.

If you’d like to try out Wordle, visit this website. There is no registration required, and you can play one puzzle per day. If you are unable to solve the day’s puzzle, you’ll have to come back again the next day to try a new puzzle (or play on a different browser).

The New York Times recently wrote a story on the creator of Wordle, Josh Wardle.

Have you played Wordle? Do you have any other word game apps you love? Let us know in the comments.

Libby Gets an Update and the OverDrive App Says Farewell

There are some changes coming to the Libby app! The folks over at OverDrive, the makers of the Libby app, have rolled out some improvements to the Libby app for easier navigation and an overall improved experience.

If you aren’t familiar with Libby, it is a free app that can be downloaded to your Android (non-Kindle), iOS (iPhone/iPad/iPod touch), and Windows 10 devices. You can use the app to browse for e-books, e-audiobooks, and digital magazines. (OverDrive video is not available in Libby.) Once you have borrowed an item, you can also use the app to read/listen to them.

Updated Navigation Bar

New Navigation Icons with Labels

The first change is an updated navigation bar on the bottom section of the app. Each icon in the navigation bar has been updated for clarity and consistency.

Search: Search the library’s catalog for e-books and e-audiobooks.
Library Home Screen: Takes you to the UHLS OverDrive home screen.
Notifications: A badge icon with a number will display if you have any notifications, which includes if there are titles ready to borrow or if a hold placed has not been borrowed in time and has expired.
Libby Menu: Displays notification messages; allows you to add a library card (if you have more than one East Greenbush or Upper Hudson library card) or library (if you belong to more than one library system); and Help & Support (including Settings).
Shelf: Displays your current loans, holds, and tags.
Timeline: Shows your recent activity on Libby: items borrowed, items returned, holds placed, and other Libby activity.

Library Home Organization

New Library Home Screen

Extras and Guides are now featured prominently. The Preferences option has been moved to search results, lists, and guides to help better filter the results so you can easily find what you are looking for.

Search Enhancements

New Search Features

When searching for an item, you will now see an Explore with Filters section, with options to browse by format, availability, and more.  Advanced search filters are available with the + more button on this screen.

New Settings Menu

New Settings Menu

There is a new Settings menu, which include existing settings such as manage notifications, change download rules, choose your language, etc. as well as new options like adding labels to the navigation icons.

If you choose to add labels to your navigation icons, this is how it will be displayed:

Timeline Improvements

The timeline has a new layout, with each title displayed once in a single collapsible entry. More title and user activity details are available in this new layout. The timeline displays your recent activity such as when you borrowed or returned a specific title.

OverDrive App Is Being Discontinued

In addition to all these new Libby improvements, the OverDrive app is being phased out. The OverDrive app (which is a separate app from Libby) will be removed from the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, and Microsoft Windows Store in February 2022.

Current OverDrive app users can continue to use the app. If you are searching for the OverDrive app, you will be directed to Libby. All users can continue to use, borrow, and open titles from the Upper Hudson OverDrive website via a browser.

More Information

OverDrive has prepared a landing page with more information about the transition to Libby. If you have any additional questions about the new Libby features or the discontinuation of the OverDrive app, please contact the library.