Make PDFs Look Scanned

Add noise, rotation, shading, and other “real” wrinkles.

Bonus 1: Add organic-looking signatures.

Bonus 2: Works with GIFs and images like PNGs and JPEGs

Make PDFs (and images) Look Printed and Scanned

Make a PDF look printed and then scanned. If you can’t actually print and scan, make a document look like it anyways! In one simple step, this tool adds noise, paper creases, “dirtyness” (like a scanner glass has dirt on it), tilt and more. This makes a great real-scanned look.

How to Use the Tool

  1. Upload your document (e.g., a PDF or JPG) by clicking on Browse or dragging-and-dropping onto Browse.
  2. Adjust the look by dragging on the scannedness and dirtyness sliders. Low values are often best for submitting documents to monster corporations that want to be able to read each word of the document. High values are good for conceptual art.
  3. Click Advanced to adjust the resolution. A low resolution is good for making smaller files, which improve download times and make the document easier to share. A higher resolution increases the readability of text — use something more towards 100 if you want the document to be “clearer.”
  4. Choose a setting, like “smudgy” from the Super Funk list to change how the elements on your are morphed into a scanned-look.
  5. From the Advanced menu, you can click on Draw & Type, which allows you to add text, arrows, and free-hand drawings to each individual page. When you are done editing each page, click Save.
  6. When you are done editing, click Download!

Super Advanced Features in New App

A new Advanced PDF to Scanned Look App has even more features and allows greater customization. Check it out if you want to control the “dirt” type, and amount of noise, and in general be able to better customize the look of your documents! (However, the advanced app is slightly slower to process files and some of the functionality is in a perpetual beta-stage.)

PDF to Scanned PDF

This online tool converts a PDF to a Scanned PDF. First download free. Easily add a signature. Preview and adjust the look. Works with PDFs up to 100 pages. Compatible in any web browser (Chrome, Safari, Firefox) on any device (iPhone, Samsung, Google). To begin, upload any PDF and adjust how “scanned” you want it to look. Make documents look distressed and lofi.

Fake Fax, Fake Print, Fake Scan

Sometimes a ridiculous corporate rule asks you to print and scan a signed PDF. Instead of wasting time and paper, insert a digital signature, then upload your document and this tool will make it look like it was scanned.

Make a JPEG, PNG, or Word Document look Scanned

This tool now makes JPEG, PNG, TIFF, BMP and even a GIF look like scanned. It accepts all common image formats and adds grunge, dirt, rotation, noise and more! If you have an MS Word document, first it to a PDF. To convert to PDF, double click the image on your computer to open it. Then, select Print and choose the option to save it as a PDF. Finally, upload it in the app above and modify the look to suit your preferences. More specific directions to save a Word file or other file formats as a PDF on Mac and Windows is available here.

Add Text, Rectangles, and More!

This SuperTool allow you to add all kinds of graphic features. Just click on “Draw & Type” to begin adding anything you want! Add your name or any other kind of text. Add arrows to your PDF. Add a text bubble to your PDF! Add noise or pixelate by clicking on the bottom right slider icons after clicking “Draw & Type.” In that advanced menu, you can also adjust the brightness and more! Check out the other features like cropping, rotating, and free-hand drawing. Block out part of your PDF by adding a black rectangle!

Simulate A Scanned Doc

This is a simple method for converting a clean PDF into a PDF that looks as if it has been scanned from a printed page. Careful with this tool! A scanned PDF can be difficult to read. Check out this interesting discussion about PDF Accessibility.

Why Make a PDF look Scanned?

In some cases, platforms or software might only accept ‘scanned’ versions of documents, possibly due to the way they process or recognize text and images. Converting a clean PDF to a ‘scanned’ look could be a workaround for these technical limitations. The way that some PDF processors work is through OCR, which requires a “rendered” PDF – that is the vector graphics are made into optical renderings or representations. This tool is your ticket to make a PDF look scanned!

Add a Scanner Effect to your PDF

This makes it look like a PDF was scanned. Some places still require “wet” signatures, but this makes it nearly impossible to tell the difference. Random variation keeps each document looking slightly different.

The PDF to Scanned Look

The PDF to scanned look never looked so great! And it can be done without Photoshop or taking a lot of time. The “destructive” filters on this online tool give each PDF a scanned look. The text and graphics will look “decayed” and with an analog feel. Some perspective warp goes a long way.

Enhancing a PDF “scanned” realism is easy

Adding realism is good for usability but it’s also fun! The algorithm automatically changes lighting, contrast and other visual elements. Some tools work a little, but the imperfections look fake instead of real. But this SuperTool makes original works of art! It gives PDFs a sense of age. Creases, fine lines, and dirt are three different kinds of icing on the cake of PDF.

Insert a Hand-drawn Signature into Your Document

Use the built-in feature to create a signature. Draw a signature with your mouse. Then, click on the modified image to determine placement of the signature. Adjust the signature size as needed. Furthermore, you can erase parts of the signature. If the tool here is insufficient, use Mac’s pdf viewer Preview for a signature capture feature. Adobe Acrobat allows you to draw and insert a signature. After a signature is added, upload here for the printed-and-scanned look.

Insert a Hand-drawn Date into Your PDF

This tool allows you to insert dates and signatures! Just draw a date and place it in the image. Edit the date image as needed using the erase and draw options.

Handwrite onto a PDF

As stated above, you can add handwritten signatures and initials to a PDF through this online tool. You can also mimic handwriting onto a PDF. You can use the “add a signature” function to write anything you want! You can also add multiple handwritten notes anywhere on the document.

How do you insert initials into a PDF?

Simply draw you initials and choose the size and click for placement. You can add multiple initials on a single page. And you can add signatures, initials, and dates across one or all pages in the PDF.

Save trees, ink, and time!

Create a Graphic Signature

Use the tools graphic signature tool to draw (or mouse) your signature. If you want a “clean” PDF then just make the scanned-ness and dirty-ness settings to 0.

How to make a PDF look old?

Use this online tool to make a PDF look old and like it has been weathered, printed, re-printed, and scanned. This aging effect make great art. A hint of yellow and gray, along with converting things to greyscale (“old” things weren’t usually printed in color!) makes the document look like it has been in your pocket, out on the street, and maybe even in the gutter.

Don’t break the Law

Make sure you comply with all local and national laws regarding legal documents. It may be that a “real” wet signature is required — if so, don’t risk it! If you don’t have a scanner, you may be able to use your phone. If you don’t a printer, well, ask a friend or neighbor. In short, make a PDF look printed and scanned, but don’t do anything shady.

Lastly, learn about making PDFs more readable and accessible — accessing PDF art with scanned and printed looks shouldn’t be impossible.

SuperTools for converting images and PDFs from color to black and white and then back to color. Print without ink and edit JPEGs and PNGS.