Converting a scanned file to a Word document is the best way to edit it or add annotations. If your scan is in PDF format, you can use Word's built-in functions. If it's in an image format, you'll need to go through a free converter. If you have a Microsoft account and a phone, you can use the free Office Lens app to scan the document and save it as a Word file to your OneDrive storage.
Method 1 of 3: Convert a scanned PDF
Step 1. Make sure your document is in PDF format
Microsoft Word can recognize and convert scanned PDF files to Word documents with no additional software required.
If your document is saved in an image format (for example.jpg" />
Step 2. Open the PDF in Word
The flow of the process will depend on your operating system.
- On a Windows computer: right click on the PDF you want to convert, select Open with then choose Word in the menu that appears.
- On a Mac: click on the PDF you want to convert, select the menu File, click on Open with then choose Word in the context menu.
Step 3. Click OK
Word will start converting the scanned PDF to a Word document.
The process may take several minutes if your PDF contains a lot of text or images
Step 4. Activate the file changes if necessary
If you see a yellow bar with a warning at the top of the Word window, click Activate modification to unlock the file and allow editing.
In general, this measure only applies to files that you have downloaded (for example, if you have downloaded your scanned PDF from an online storage service)
Step 5. Review your document
Converting scanned files to Word documents is not an exact science. You may need to add missing words, remove excess spaces, and correct spelling before your Word file is usable.
Step 6. Save the document
Once you are ready to save the document as a Word file, follow the steps below.
- On Windows: press Ctrl + S, enter a file name, select a save location, then click Save.
- On Mac: press Command + S, enter a file name, select a save location from the drop-down menu Or then click on Save.
Method 2 of 3: Convert a scanned image
Step 1. Open the New OCR site
In your computer's web browser, open this page.
Step 2. Click Browse
It's a gray button at the top of the page. Click on it to open a File Explorer (on a Windows computer) or Finder (on a Mac).
Step 3. Select the scanned file
In File Explorer, locate the scanned image file of your document and click on it.
Step 4. Choose Open
This option is located at the bottom right of the window and allows you to import the file to the website.
Step 5. Click Upload + OCR
You will find this option at the bottom of the visible page. New OCR will begin extracting readable text from the scanned image.
Step 6. Scroll down to the Download option
This link is at the bottom left of the page, just above the field that contains the text of the document. Click on it to open a drop-down menu.
Step 7. Choose Microsoft Word (DOC)
This option can be found in the drop-down menu To download. A Microsoft Word version of the scanned file will be downloaded to your computer.
Step 8. Open the document
Once the file is downloaded, you can double-click it to open it in Microsoft Word. Your scanned image is now a Microsoft Word document.
- You may need to click Activate modification at the top of the page because the document may be locked by default.
Step 9. Inspect your document
The resulting Word document may not be identical to the scanned file. You may need to add missing words, remove extra spaces, or correct some spelling mistakes.
Method 3 of 3: Scan a document to Word file
Step 1. Open Office Lens
Tap the red and white Office Lens app icon with a camera lens and the letter "L" on it.
If you don't have Office Lens on your device, you can download it from the Google Play Store for Android or the App Store for iPhone
Step 2. Allow access to your phone
If this is your first time to open Office Lens, tap To allow Where OK when prompted to allow Office Lens to access files on your phone.
Step 3. Press DOCUMENT
This is one of the tabs at the bottom of the screen.
Step 4. Point your phone's camera at the document
Position the document you want to scan in the frame of your camera.
Make sure the document is well lit so that the camera can capture as much detail as possible
Step 5. Press the capture button
It's the red circle at the bottom of the screen. Tap it to photograph the document page.
Step 6. Press
This button is located at the bottom right of the screen.
You can scan more pages by tapping the camera icon with a + at the bottom of the screen
Step 7. Select Word
This option can be found in the section Save to on the page Export to.
- On Android, tap the box next to Word and then tap Save at the bottom of the screen.
Step 8. Sign in to your Microsoft account
If you haven't already, enter your Microsoft account email address and password. Once you are signed in, the Word document will be imported into your OneDrive account.
This must be the account you use to sign in to Microsoft Word
Step 9. Open Word on your computer
This is the blue application with a white document and the letter "W" on it.
Step 10. Click Open Other Documents
This option is on the left of the window under the section Recent documents.
- On a Mac, click the folder icon that says To open to the left of the window.
Step 11. Select OneDrive - Personal
You will find this option at the top of the window. Click on it to open your OneDrive folder.
- If you don't see the OneDrive option, click + Add a location, on OneDrive then sign in to your Microsoft account.
Step 12. Go to the Office Lens folder
Click on the folder Documents then on the folder Office Lens in the right panel on window.
Step 13. Double-click on your Word document
The Word document that you scanned with Office Lens will open in Microsoft Word.