Scan and Digitise Your Textbooks

Imagine you’re studying for an exam and want to make notes, or you’re teaching a class and need to share a passage of text with your students. You can’t haul out your textbook every time. Instead, you can scan a book and get the digital copy of the document.

Here, we’ll cover how you can scan documents to a digital format, so you can annotate textbooks, and much more. Read on to find out the best ways to scan a textbook with our useful guide.

Benefits of Digitising Your Textbooks.

There are many benefits of using book scanners. Below is an outline of some of the ways scanning a textbook can be beneficial to e-learners, teachers, and students.


  • Portability. You can store all your digital textbooks on one portable device, such as a laptop or tablet.
  • Less storage space required. Digitising them means they take up less physical space.
  • Easier to access and search. Automatic search functions allow you to find certain keywords easier, rather than manually looking them up.
  • Editability. You can markup, highlight, and add comments on PDF versions of textbook pages with Acrobat Online tools . You can even do this directly from your browser with our online PDF Editor.
  • Simpler to share. Digital documents are easily replicable, allowing you to share them with your students or friends.

There are two ways to scan documents to a digital format: destructive and non-destructive. Let’s look at both methods.

Destructive book scanning

As its name suggests, destructive book scanning involves physically removing the book’s pages and scanning them one by one. This increases the overall scan precision, as you usually get a high resolution.


However, it can take a long time to do. If there are 300 pages in a book, scanning each of them separately can add up to a hefty length of time.

Non-destructive book scanning

The non-destructive method involves scanning books without removing the pages. This preserves the integrity of the book, as it can be reused. This is useful for rare books and texts you’ve taken out from the library.

Some other ways to scan books include manual and automatic book scanners and textbook scanning services. Using the Adobe Scan app can help make the process much easier, as you can simply take a picture yourself to scan documents and they’ll be automatically converted to PDFs for you.

Top Tips for Non-Destructive Book Scanning.

  1. Clean and prepare the book by removing any notes or bookmarks.
  2. Determine which pages you need to digitise – you don’t want to end up scanning pages you don’t need.
  3. Use Adobe Scan to digitise your pages straight to PDF using your smartphone.

How to Digitise and Organise Your Textbooks After Scanning.

Once you’re done scanning a textbook, you’ll need to organise your PDF pages. You can do this quickly and easily by opening them with Adobe.


To organise pages from your PDF files using Adobe Acrobat , follow these simple steps:


  1. Open Acrobat and select ‘Organise Pages’ in Tools > Organise Pages.
  1. Drag and drop your chosen files. You can also select ‘Add a file from your device’ and choose your file this way.
  1. Once you’ve added the files in, they’ll be uploaded to Acrobat. You can then move your pages into the order you want.
  1. To reorder your files, select a thumbnail and drag it to a new position. Hold CTRL at the same time when moving it to copy it.
  2. You can now save the file on your desktop and give it another name if you wish. Click ‘Save’ to finish.


With Adobe Acrobat online tools, you can also merge PDF pages and split pages easily to get the exact order you need.

Book Scanner and Digitising FAQs.

Is it legal to scan textbooks?

Copyright law prevents unauthorised use of an author’s work, but there are some allowances for scanning a textbook without the copyright holder’s permission. Under fair use, you can use copyright materials for research, teaching, and scholarship. However, even then, the Copyright Act only permits you to copy one chapter or up to 5% of the work.

Will using a book scanner compromise the quality?

The quality of the scan will depend on a few factors, including if you’ve cleaned the scanner, as well as whether you’ve wiped away any dust/debris from the pages themselves. It will also vary based on the resolution you’ve chosen for the output of the scans.

Should I scan my textbook in colour or black and white?

This will depend on how you’re planning to use the scanned pages. For example, colour is often for those important professional documents. A colour printout will have a bigger size file. However, it may reduce the overall quality. A black and white printout may suffice for more informal occasions, such as making study notes.

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