Handheld scanners have come a long way since they were first introduced. The convenience of not having to use a bulky flatbed scanner is illustrated by all the applications available with these technical accessories. At the most basic, a handheld scanner works with a tray that keeps the document straight for the best quality scan. Newer versions include extras like definitions, translations and even audible reading of the text.




One handy use for a handheld scanner is capturing information from business cards. If you get a lot of these, you know they can pile up. Some people put them in a card file for easy access, but if you scan them you can access them anytime, not just at your desk.




The same convenience is available for receipts and sales slips. Instead of keeping them in an envelope or box, they can be digitally scanned and kept in an easily accessible file. Advanced portable scanners even have optical character recognition (OCR), allowing receipts to be scanned in an editable format. This is convenient when using the scanner to enter data into an accounting system.




A pocket scanner can also help you stay organized. If you rely on jotting important information down on a notepad or have a bulletin board full of sticky notes, you might consider saving all those great ideas and important dates in a digital file as well. You never know when you’ll be away from your desk, and being in touch with your notes will give you a needed edge.




Companies have increasingly turned to hand-held scanners to keep track of documentation. Often, repair people will scan signed invoices into a file as they complete each job. Not only does this ensure that the paperwork won’t be lost, but the home office can start processing the data right away.




In today’s technical culture, we can find out everything we want to know about an item before we buy it. Even faster than a Google search, scanning a bar code can bring up all the information you need about a product before committing to a purchase.




Users of pen-sized text-reading scanners can produce audible reading from text just by scanning the tips across the page. Advanced models can even give definitions and scan the information wirelessly into a computer.




This is one of the most useful applications of portable scanner technology for the media. Photographers can scan negatives or slides into a scanner and then upload and send them for immediate publication.


Handheld scanners used to be devices used only for scanning prices in retail stores. With the rapid increase of add-ons and modifications in the past few years, portable scanners have moved into the personal sphere as well.