How Do I Convert a Scanned Document to a Word Document

Many of us are still carrying on professional careers and businesses that require us to use all types of old-fashioned paper documents, based on our line of business. These can include, bills, invoices, contracts, forms, letters and others. The problem is how to convert these papers into digital formats – digitally compatible with modern machines and technologies. These documents can be easily scanned into various digital formats and edited later in the office or at home. There are many manual tools available on the web to help you convert scanned documents to word files. However, manual tools take a lot of your time, if you want and need to convert multiple pages at once.

Have you ever found yourself in need of converting a scanned document to a word document? If so, this article will help guide you through the process. There are many different ways that you can create your own scanned documents into word documents and this article will give you some of the most simple methods to completing this task.

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Converting a scanned image to a word document is not that hard. First, you need to open the scanned file. Then, select ‘file’ and ‘save as’ in the program that you are using. Once this dialog has appeared, you will be able to save the image in a very specific format. If you choose something that ends with ‘.docx’, then you will be able to open it in Microsoft Word.

How to Turn a Scanned Document Into Microsoft Word Document

From time-to-time, you may need a Word document instead of a PDF. Here are some tips for scanning and creating a Word document from a scan.

Method 1 Converting a Scanned PDF

  1. 1 Make sure your scanned document saved as a PDF. Microsoft Word can recognize and convert scanned PDF files into Word documents without requiring any additional software.[1]
  2. 2 Open the PDF in Word. This process will vary depending on your operating system:
    • Windows — Right-click the PDF you want to convert, select Open with, and click Word in the resulting pop-out menu.
    • Mac — Click the PDF you want to convert, click the File menu item, select Open With, and click Word in the pop-out menu.
  3. 3 Click OK when prompted. Word will begin converting the scanned PDF into a Word document.
    • This process can take several minutes if your PDF has lots of text or images.
  4. 4 Enable editing for the file if needed. If you see a yellow bar with a warning at the top of the Word window, click Enable Editing in the yellow bar in order to unlock the file for editing.
    • This usually only pertains to files you’ve downloaded (e.g., if you downloaded your scanned PDF from a cloud service).
  5. 5 Clean up your document. Converting scanned files into Word documents isn’t an exact science; you may have to add missing words, remove excess spaces, and fix typos before your Word document is ready to go.
  6. 6 Save the document. Once you’re ready to save the converted document as its own Word file, do the following:
    • Windows — Press Ctrl+S, then enter a file name, select a save location, and click Save.
    • Mac — Press ⌘ Command+S, then enter a file name, select a save location from the “Where” drop-down box, and click Save.
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Method 2 Converting a Scanned Image

  1. 1 Open the New OCR site. Go to in your computer’s web browser.
  2. 2 Click Choose file. It’s a grey button at the top of the page. Doing so prompts a File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac) window to open.
  3. 3 Select the scanned file. In the file browser, navigate to the scanned image file of your document, then click the file.
  4. 4 Click Open. It’s in the bottom-right corner of the window. Doing so will prompt the file to upload to the website.
  5. 5 Click Upload + OCR. You’ll find this button near the bottom of the visible page. New OCR will begin extracting the readable text from your scanned image.
  6. 6 Scroll down and click Download. This link is in the lower-left side of the page, just above the box containing the document’s text. A drop-down menu will appear.
  7. 7 Click Microsoft Word (DOC). It’s in the Download drop-down menu. This will prompt a Microsoft Word version of the scanned file to download onto your computer.
  8. 8 Open the document. Once the file is done downloading, you can double-click it to open it in Microsoft Word. Your scanned image is now a Microsoft Word document.
    • You may have to click Enable Editing at the top of the page as the document might be locked by default.
  9. 9 Clean up your document. Converting scanned files into Word documents isn’t an exact science; you may have to add missing words, remove excess spaces, and fix typos before your Word document is ready to go.

Method 3 Convert Scanned PDF to Word Using iSkysoft PDF Converter

In order to lighten the heavy burden of the work, a PDF Converter should be used to convert the scanned PDF files to editable Word files. There is an effective one called PDF Converter Pro for Mac which comes readily to mind. The in-built OCR technology makes it easy to extract content from the scanned PDF files and be stored in Microsoft Word. Once the scanned PDF to Word conversion is done, its content can be edited, copied and pasted on Microsoft Word processor. The copy paste jobs can be much easier in MS Word.

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Steps to Convert Scanned PDF Files to Word on Mac

Step 1. Launch the PDF Converter Pro and Add Scanned PDF Files

After you download the program, launch it on your computer, then drag and drop the scanned PDF documents to add to the program. Interface is displaying as below. Alternatively, you can go to the File menu and click “Add PDF Files” to import your image-based PDF file.

pdf converter

Step 2. Choose .docx Format as Output Format

Click on the PDF file to highlight it and you will see a “Gear” icon beside the file. Just click the icon to open the output setting window. Here you need to select “Word” document as output file format, and then click “OK”.

convert pdf

Step 3. Start to Convert scanned PDF to Word

After all is set, click Convert button to start converting scanned PDFs to Word files now. Then you can enjoy all the files whatever you need.

More Tips about Scanned PDF

Unlike native PDFs, scanned PDFs are proving to be very popular especially when it comes to digitizing hard copy documents that were creating long before computers were popular. Scanned PDFs are basically image files which are stored in a PDF format. Using a simple scanner, one can easily turn any hard copy document or picture into a scanned PDF. With such simplicity, a hard copy document is saved from the effects of being exposed to elements of weather. Other than that, the other advantages that come with scanned PDFs is that they are self-contained, they are compact and save on a lot of space. Scanned PDFs can also be secured using passwords.

Scanned PDFs are very easy to scan. All one has to do is to get a good scanner and scan any document that they would want to scan. After scanning the PDF select the format that you want to save the image, which in this case is PDF. Regardless of scanned PDF being popular, there are a number of actions that one cannot perform on scanned PDF. The following are actions that cannot be performed on a scanned PDF:

· Selext text: Only a section of the image can be select but individual text or characters cannot be selected.

· Zoom in: When a scanned PDF is scanned, its text becomes blurred, something that so unlike native PDFs which easily zoom without blurring its text.

· Use document properties: Since scanned PDFs are basically images, document properties such as text size and text type are not available.


  • Office Lens will handle physical files (e.g., paper documents) better than on-screen text.
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  • Using New OCR to recognize text in a scanned image can be hit-or-miss depending on the angle, color, and texture of the scan. For optimal results, scan your document into a PDF format, then use the Microsoft Word method to convert your scan.

How to Convert Scanned PDF to Word Documents Online

  1. Go to the Smallpdf PDF to Word online tool.
  2. Upload your PDF file via drag-and-drop.
  3. Select the option you need—the OCR conversion is only available as a Pro feature.
  4. Wait for the conversion to finish.
  5. Download your editable Word file.
Convert Scanned PDF to Word Online

Scanned PDF to Word in a nutshell

The process of converting the scanned PDF file into an editable Word doc may take a few extra seconds, as our OCR needs to recognize the text of the paper documents stored as scans in PDF form. On the bright side, being a fast online PDF to Word converter—loved by over 40 million monthly users, and counting, the whole process to convert the file from scanned PDF to Word shouldn’t take too long.

Is the Scanned Pdf to Word Converter Free?

All of Smallpdf’s tools are free to use with some limitations—our OCR Word converter is a Pro feature. You can scan to pdf online, as well as convert images, spreadsheets, and powerpoints to pdf, even when these documents are scans. To use our optical character recognition (OCR) technology to convert images to editable Word, check out our JPG to Word guide.

Cool, But What Are the Limitations?

Free tasks are limited to two per day and some features are only accessible with a Pro subscription. File size is also limited to a maximum of 5 GB, as high-resolution scans may be quite large.

Getting a Smallpdf Pro account will remove the daily task limit and allow you to use the tools as often as you need to convert images to pdf, or scanned pdf to word, or use our scan to pdf converter.

Are My Scans Safe?

Utmost security of your files is a guarantee. We’ve recognized the concern of general users when it comes to cloud services from day one. Smallpdf does everything in our power to take care of your files; we use TLS encryption, delete files after one hour, and use the reliable Amazon Web Services to host and handle your documents. For full disclosure, check out our Terms and Privacy page.


The CyberLink Document Converter Suite’s Scanning Module, allows you to scan a document and then send it directly into your favorite word processor (Microsoft Word or Works) for easy conversion. Plus, our Document Converter Suite’s convenient OCR technology automatically cleans up images by recognizing words, which means your scanned documents will look more natural and readable.

Some documents are made to be read online while others are destined to be read on paper. But what happens when you want the best of both worlds? To get a document in your hands, it’s no problem at all because converting scans is simple and completely free.

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