Scanning in paper documents

Each paper document should be scanned in and saved as a PDF on your computer. It is possible to buy specialised scanner devices but most people have an all-in-one printer/scanner. Virtually every printer/scanner has WiFi capability so you can easily connect it to your WiFi network and use it from any computer or other device you have.

When scanning in each document, give the PDF a name which includes the date of the document like this: 

Letter Smith to Jones 21 May 2018

Don't produce a separate PDF for each page of a document

If a document consists of more than one page, make sure that all pages are scanned into a single PDF. Don't produce a separate PDF for each page as it makes reading difficult if you have to keep closing one PDF and opening another to read through the document.  
If you put all the pages of a document in the document feeder on your scanner they should, by default, be scanned into a single multi-page PDF. If you are not using the document feeder but are instead putting each page of a document, in turn, on the glass (e.g. because the pages are fragile or are bound) the scanning dialogue you use should prompt you after scanning each page to say whether there are more pages of the document to be scanned, or whether the page you have just scanned is the last page of the document so that the PDF can now be saved.

Do you need a new printer/scanner?  

If you have a very old scanner which does not have a document feeder and does not prompt you when scanning from the glass, consider buying a new scanner. The cost of good quality scanners is coming down all the time and you can buy a combined scanner and printer, which can scan and print double-sided, A4 and A3, for less than £250. When buying a scanner make sure that the scanner has a double-sided automatic document feed (ADF) as you may find that many of the documents you need to scan in are printed on both sides.

Scanner/printer shown above is a Brother MFCJ6530DW 

Scanning with your phone 

It is possible to scan using an app on your phone such as Scanbot but the results will not be as good as using a scanner so it is much better to use a scanner. 

Do not include more than one document in a single PDF

Each document should be a separate PDF. The only exception to this is that sometimes, for a letter with enclosures, the PDF should contain all pages of the letter followed by all pages of the enclosures (though documents enclosed might also need to be loaded a separate documents as well).    

Don't scan in two pages side-by-side

If you have a document in leaflet form - e.g. a single A3 sheet of paper folded in half to make a four page A4 sized leaflet - make sure you scan each page (rather than scanning two pages side by side) so that you produce a PDF containing four A4 pages (and not two A3 pages).

So don't scan it in like this

Scan it in like this


with any backsheet at the end.

Similarly, if you have a booklet consisting e.g. of 8 A4 pages made up of two folded A3 sheets stapled at the crease, make sure you scan each page so that you produce a PDF containing eight A4 pages (and not four A3 pages).


The information on this page about specific computer techniques is provided for information purposes only. Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate and up to date at the time it was written but no responsibility for its accuracy, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by me. You should satisfy yourself, before using any of the techniques, software or services described, that the techniques are appropriate for your purposes and that the software or service is reliable.

Any explanation about naming conventions or other matters in the context of tribunal or court procedure is only an overview and in order to be reasonably concise I have had to leave some details out - details which are likely to affect what the procedural law would say about your own situation. So please do not rely on the above but contact me for advice.

This page was lasted updated in July 2020. Disclaimer