If you have paper documents (mailed bank statements, property tax notices, etc), you’ll need to convert them to digital files using your smartphone or tablet.  See the first section below for 2 free app recommendations (Adobe Scan and Microsoft Office Lens) and instructions for use.

If you are accessing information on your computer through a website (CRA account information, online banking, etc) and there is no way to download the information as a PDF, then see the second section below for how to “Print” directly to a PDF document instead of to paper.

Convert Paper Documents to Digital Files

If you don’t have a scanner at home, you can use your smartphone or tablet to ‘scan’ paper documents and send them to us.  Using a proper scanner app is preferred, but you can use your basic camera if necessary.  Follow the steps below.

Smartphone Apps

If you have a smartphone or tablet, there are several free apps that can use the camera to ‘scan’ each page of a document and put them together into a PDF.  Our recommendations are Adobe Scan or Microsoft Office Lens, both are free and offer good image correction (for clear documents) and easy sharing.

If you use already have a Microsoft Account and use OneDrive for cloud storage, the Office Lens app integrates very nicely and allows easy saving to your OneDrive account from which you can share document links by email.

If you don’t use have a Microsoft Account, the Adobe Scan app is easy to use and you can create an Adobe ID account for free by linking your Google or Facebook accounts.

Adobe Scan

Download Links
(make sure you’re using your smartphone or tablet before clicking the links below):

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.adobe.scan.android&hl=en_CA

Apple: https://apps.apple.com/ca/app/adobe-scan-mobile-pdf-scanner/id1199564834

Once installed on your smartphone or tablet, open the app. If you have an Adobie ID already (from other Adobe products), you can sign in directly. Otherwise, use your Google, Facebook or Apple ID to log in and create an Adobe account.

Adobe Scan makes scanning documents really easy.

  1. Use a flat work surface, ideally one that is dark in colour so there is good contrast between the document pages and the background, and make sure there is lots of light.
  2. Lay the first page on the surface, and open the Adobe Scan app
  3. Hold your device about 18-24″ above the document, but angled slightly so your device does not cast a shadow over the document
  4. The software will automatically detect the document and the page corners and capture the image, then show you the result so you can adjust the cropping if necessary.
  5. Lay the next page of your document on the work surface and press Continue in the software. Repeat from step 3, until you have captured all pages of the document.
  6. Once all pages have been captured, press the button in the bottom right of the screen that shows the last image captured and the total number of pages captured.
  7. Review the pages and make sure you have all pages of your document, and that they are clearly legible. If you need to, use the Add Page, Reorder and Rotate buttons at the bottom of the screen to make adjustments.
  8. Press the Save PDF button in the top right of the screen.
  9. Wait for the software to process your document (you will see a spinning icon and “Processing text” over the document thumbnail).
  10. Press the “More” button, select Rename, and then give the document a title in the following format: “firstname lastname – description”
    Example: John Doe – Letter Of Employment
    Example: John Doe – 2020-03 RBC Bank Statement
  11. Press the “Share” button beside the document, then select “Email…”
  12. Pick your email app from the bottom menu and your email app will open with the Document Download Link already pasted into the body.
  13. Enter mgartside@comoxmortgages.com into the “To” field and press the Send button.
  14. If you need to scan another document, press the Camera button in the bottom right corner, and repeat steps 2-13.

For more detailed instructions on how to use the Adobe Scan app, you can find the full documentation here, or watch the Youtube video tutorial below


Youtube video tutorial

This shows a slightly older version of the App (so the process is slightly different), but illustrates the key ideas well.

Microsoft Office Lens – PDF Scanner

Download Links
(make sure you’re using your smartphone or tablet before clicking the links below):

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.microsoft.office.officelens&hl=en_CA

Apple: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/microsoft-office-lens-pdf-scan/id975925059

Once downloaded, you will need to create a Microsoft Account (you can use your personal email account to do this) and then the app will allow you to take photos of each page of your document and save it all as a PDF.

We recommend this app particularly because it is very good at digitally correcting and cropping the photos so the pages look clear and flat.  Once you’re done capturing each page, you can choose to save the document to your local device and also to your Microsoft Account cloud storage (called OneDrive) from which it’s easy to share the document with anyone by emailing them a download link.

There are several step-by-step tutorials for using Microsoft Office Lens available online:

Microsoft user guide: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/microsoft-office-lens-for-android-ec124207-0049-4201-afaf-b5874a8e6f2b

TechRepublic tutorial: https://www.techrepublic.com/article/how-to-scan-printed-documents-with-the-free-microsoft-office-lens-app/

Youtube tutorial:

Smartphone Camera

If you aren’t able to install Microsoft Office Lens or a similar Scanner App, then regular JPG pictures can be accepted provided you take the following steps:

  1. Make sure your camera is set to the highest resolution setting (largest file size).
  2. Turn on your camera flash.
  3. Lay the page flat on a table or counter with good lighting.
  4. Hold your camera about 24″ (2 feet) above the document, ensuring all 4 corners are clearly within the photo.
  5. Use your camera’s Zoom to increase the document size so it takes up most of the picture area.
  6. Make sure your phone and hand do not cast a shadow onto the document.  If this happens, move your phone slightly closer to you and angle it, so it isn’t directly over the document.
  7. Take the photo.
  8. Repeat for each page of the document.
  9. Email each photo separately, and if your phone asks if you want to change the image size to save data, choose to send the full (high) resolution image.  Alternatively, use our File Upload portal to upload the pictures directly to us. This ensures the information is transmitted securely and safely, and allows you to select all the photos at once to upload.

If you are accessing information on your computer (online banking, CRA account, etc) that you would normally print to paper and bring in, here are a couple options you can use to generate digital PDF documents instead of paper documents.

Newer computers – Print to PDF using pre-installed software

Since about 2015, both Apple and PC (Windows) computers have come with a special “printer” installed called Print to PDF.  So when you are printing any document that you want to send digitally, simply change your printer from the regular option to the Print to PDF option in your Print dialog box and press OK.

Print Dialog Box showing Print to PDF printer option

Instead of activating a paper printer device, the computer will ask you where you want to save the PDF document. Pick a location where you’ll be able to easily find it and press OK.

Repeat this process for all documents that you need to save as PDFs,

To send the PDFs to us, you can either attach them to an email or use our File Upload portal to upload the PDFs directly to us. We recommend using the File Upload portal to ensure the documents are transmitted securely and safely.

Older Computers – install Print to PDF software

If your computer does not have a “Print to PDF” option already installed, you can download free software to do this.  Our recommendation is to use Cute PDF:


Once downloaded and installed, you will have a new CutePDF Writer printer option to choose in the printer dropdown.  From this point, the process is the same as the “Newer Computers” process described above. Proceed to print all your documents using the CutePDF Writer printer option, saving them to a file folder, and then send them to us through our File Upload portal or as email attachments.