How do I attach a scanned document to an email?

Having access to the right documents in the right places is vital in today’s digital world, both in personal and business contexts.

That’s why it’s important to know how to attach files to your documents and templates, as well as how to attach your scanned documents to emails.

We’ll go through exactly how to scan documents, how to then send scanned documents, and the changes you’ll need to make to the process depending on the kind of device you’re using.

How to scan and email a document

In the simplest terms, you’ll need to start by digitizing your document(s), then sending it as an attachment to an email message.

You can digitize document(s) using any hardware or software that’s capable of scanning physical pieces of paper, including in-device tools and ones that connect to your laptop (or phone) via Bluetooth.

Once you’ve got your documents from the scanner to the device, you’ll want to save them.

They can then be added to your emails as attachments with a quick click or tap of the paperclip icon.

Preparations before scanning

First off, you’re going to need:

  • A multifunction printer, scanner, or dedicated scanning app
  • A device to send the document(s) from
  • Documents to scan
  • A working wi-fi connection
  • An email address to send your scanned items from
  • Recipients to send them to.

Once you’ve got those, it’s time to do the actual scanning.

This involves creating a digital copy of your physical pieces of paper.

In terms of file type (or file format), those will typically take the form of an image (JPEG/JPG, PNG, etc.) or PDF file.

The file size depends on the overall quality of the scanned document.

Your documents’ file types make them easier to send and share.

In particular, PDF files preserve the exact way a document looks, and they can be opened on just about any device. This makes them a great digital document choice.

It’s vital to double-check that your item has been scanned properly.

Can you see all the text in your scanned files and every detail in your scanned images? If not, a retake is better than sticking with a poor-quality copy.

Now you’ve got your documents scanned and ready, it’s time to send them. But how does that process change depending on your operating system? 

How to scan a document to email on Windows

Microsoft Windows users need to do the following:

  1. Connect your scanner (or multifunctional printer) to your device
  2. Scan and save your documents
  3. Right-click your chosen documents, then choose Send to
  4. Choose your recipient’s email address and write a new email for the files to attach to. Please note: This only works if you have your email set as the default program.

How to scan a document to email on macOS

Anyone using a Mac computer can follow these steps:

  1. Connect your scanner to your Mac device
  2. Click on System Preferences, then Printers and Scanners, then your scanner
  3. Click on Scanning Options and choose Use Document Feeder. Also, set the location you want your scans to save to.
  4. Scan your documents
  5. Create a new message in your chosen email client (for example, Gmail or Outlook) and insert your files.

How to scan a document to email on iOS

If your device of choice is an iPhone or iPad, you’ll want to:

  1. Access your email account from your mail app, then create a new email draft
  2. Tap the space where you’ll be inserting the scanned document. This will bring up your device’s on-screen keyboard.
  3. Tap the icon above your keyboard that represents the file scanner. It looks a little like a camera icon.
  4. When the camera app opens, angle your camera so that your whole document fits on the screen, then take a photo.Repeat as many times as you need to get every document in. (On its own, taking a photo is not the same as scanning. However, iOS devices can scan documents using the camera app, which is what you’ll be doing here.)
  5. Tap Save, and your documents will be added to your email as attachments.

How to scan a document to email on Android

Lastly, Android users should:

  1. Go to your cloud storage (for example, you might use the Google Drive app for this) and tap the + icon in the top right corner. We suggest this method, as Android doesn’t have a built-in scanner function, and this will save you from downloading an additional app.
  2. Tap the camera icon, then take a photo of your document(s) with it. As before, this will let your device scan your documents using your camera app.
  3. Convert your images into PDF files by tapping the check mark. This is important because it turns your documents from photograph files into a more suitable format.
  4. Tap the three dots in the top right corner, then tap the email icon to open your email app.

How do I scan a document directly to email?

We’ve covered how to scan a document, then add it to an email. But what about how to scan a document into the email directly?

In some cases, you can scan documents directly into your email client.

This depends on your operating system, as well as the email client you’re using.

If you have access to this option, it speeds you up, but only by a little. 

Easily attach scanned documents to your email

Now that you know how to scan a document to email regardless of the device you’re using, you can get any document to where it needs to go in minutes.

Just remember to put something relevant in the subject line, so you can keep track.

Of course, there are easier ways to keep track of all your documents.

With PandaDoc, you can manage documents from creation through to completion, all without having to scroll back through your inbox looking for that one stray scanned file.